Making Charleston even more visitor friendly is a worthy goal for the city. So the establishment of outdoor dining areas downtown sounded like a great idea.
Last year city council cleared the way by allowing the sale of beer in such venues. Bar 101/Ichiban and Adelphia Sport Bar & Grill have opened outdoor dining on Capitol Street.
A couple more restaurants are considering it, Planning Committee Chairwoman Mary Jean Davis told the Gazette's Jim Balow.
As with anything new, an unexpected consequence has arisen. Despite county regulations intended to prevent the commingling of dining and smoking, people are lighting up.
"We thought we made that clear, but it appears some people are smoking in the outdoor dining area," said Councilman Andy Richardson.
That's a problem that should be easily fixed by council.
But there's something else. City Planning Director Dan Vriendt wants to require the bars and restaurants to buy standardized fencing from the city.
That would not only create a uniform appearance, but also protect the sidewalks from possible installation damage, he said.