More Downtown Outdoor Seating - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

More Downtown Outdoor Seating

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DAVENPORT, IA – Downtown Davenport Partnership is working with restaurants to increase outdoor seating.

A new grant program will help restaurants with the funding. It is a cost-share program for businesses that are interested in a patio.

Sippis Restaurant on 2nd Street is one of the restaurants that already has outdoor seating. Owner Frank Berner says this patio has brought him a lot of success. It seats one hundred more people when the weather is nice.

Berner says, “I think that’s how people find us. A little bit over the winter, we get lost with our location. Once the nice weather breaks, people seem to remember that Sippis’ has great outdoor dining.”

Kyle Carter, Executive Director of Downtown Davenport Partnership, calls it a true new era in downtown investment. “It’s record level of investment that we’re seeing right now. Our best days are right around the corner and we’re very excited about that.”

A total of 120 million dollars is being put into downtown developments in the next two years, and this project is one of them.

Many restaurants are excited and on-board. Owner of Me and Billy, Bill Collins, says, “It will just be another way that we can serve our customers. It’s a big plus.”

Collins has already submitted an application to Downtown Davenport to build an outdoor patio. One of the hurdles that they are working with is that the patios will cut into the sidewalk. Before building, the restaurant and city will make sure it is safe.  

A downtown coffee shop, Downtown Central Perk, has a few chairs and tables outside already, but they are also very interested in this plan. They want to make it a patio-feel rather than just have furniture outside the door.  Manager Katie Benson says, “People driving by see customers out here eating and enjoying the outdoors. I think it attracts people when they drive past.”

Customers also say they are looking forward to the outdoor experience. Laura Lomas frequents Downtown Davenport often. She says, “Especially during the summer, it’s just so beautiful out here. The foliage—how they have flowers and everything.”

The hope is to bring more customers to Downtown Davenport and improve the city as a whole.

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