I was in Duluth last weekend and happened to walk by a Green Mill restaurant in Canal Park. Their outdoor dining area (left and left center photos) sits on a sidewalk that’s approximately 14 feet wide, the same width as the sidewalk on the east side of Division, south of 4th St. (right center). So it seems to me that Hogan Brothers, James Gang HideAway, and Rueb ‘n’ Stein could all accommodate a similar sidewalk dining area. The sidewalk across the street (west side of Division, south of 4th) is about a foot narrower, but that still seems to be enough room, should the VFW or others want to do it. However, the Division St. sidewalk north of 4th St (right photo) on both sides is about 10 feet wide, and therefore might be too narrow to support this type of sidewalk dining. Sooooo….
I’d like to see the new sidewalk dining ordinance that Ross Currier and colleagues at the NDDC are working on allow restaurant owners the option to place a removable structure for sidewalk dining in the street in front of their business. (The photos above are from Levanto, Italy, where Robbie and I visited a couple years ago.) There will soon be four restaturants in this area of downtown that might be interested in doing this.
Imagine if Northfield became known far and wide because of its culture of sidewalk dining. Good for tourism, good for residents.