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Charleston freshens up al fresco dining

The number of outdoor dining areas in downtown Charleston continues to grow as the city installs new fencing for five downtown restaurants.

New barriers have been put in place at Adelphia Sports Bar and Grille this week, and work has already been completed at Pies and Pints and the soon-to-be-reopened Quarrier Diner.

Next week, the same style of fence will be installed at Bar 101 before being added at Charleston Brewing Co. later this month, Planning Director Dan Vriendt said.

The fencing is a product of a city ordinance concerning outdoor dining downtown that was passed in 2012 and amended earlier this year. Under the law, the city buys and installs fencing for the restaurants, while the owners pay a $500 administrative fee.

Vriendt said the rationale behind the ordinance is to ensure a uniform design and look for all downtown restaurants that choose to have a fence.

"We work with the property owners so everyone is on the same page," he said.

Prior to the ordinance, Adelphia and Bar 101, both on Capitol Street, already had outdoor dining.

Adelphia owner Deno Stanley said in his experience, having outdoor dining has been a big draw for patrons.

"It's a huge selling point," he said.

Stanley said he thinks the consistency of the new fencing is beneficial for downtown restaurants, including his.

"They finally formulated a plan where they have uniformity on everyone's fencing, and that's a great thing," he said. "I know my customers enjoy it."

Pies and Pints started using its new outdoor area last week, owner Rob Lindeman said in an email.

"So far it's been a hit," he said.

Lindeman said he likes the design of the fencing, calling it "non-intrusive." He said he didn't think the fence detracts from the overall look of the restaurant.

Charleston Brewing owner Ann Saville said she was looking forward to having the ability to serve patrons outdoors, and hoped they will enjoy having that opportunity. The brewpub does not currently offer outdoor dining.

"I'm looking forward to it," she said. "It'll be marvelous."

The brewpub will actually have two outdoor dining areas - one on Summers Street and one on Quarrier Street, Saville said.

"Those streets have totally different characteristics," she said.

Saville said she was impressed with the fencing the city has put up so far. She said even it's uniform, the business is what defines the space.

"It's still your food," she said. "It's still your drink."

The fencing is designed so that it can be taken down during the winter months and put back up in the spring. The fences will be removed by Dec. 1, and will be put back up by May 1.

Vriendt said having outdoor dining complements the city's Imagine Charleston redevelopment plan, which will be presented to city council for a final vote Monday.

"(The plan) talks about how to create streetscapes enjoyable for pedestrians," he said. "Outdoor dining also adds to that ambiance. It adds character."

Contact writer Matt Murphy at or 304-348-4817.



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