Restaurants irked as Peekskill considers eliminating outdoor dining parklets
The Peekskill Common Council is considering eliminating outdoor dining spaces in two areas of the city.
The two “parklets” in question are at Gleason’s on South Street and Taorminia Trattoria near the waterfront. The owners of both restaurants say the converted public parking spaces helped their businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.
"It literally allowed us to survive," said John Sharp, of Gleason’s. “We need the help a little bit longer.”
"If it’s not hurting anyone and it’s not hindering anything – why take it away when the community loves it?" asked Anthony Pietrosanti, the co-owner of Taormina Trattoria.
Acting City Manager Matthew Alexander says there are numerous concerns, including safety. Other business owners have said the structures for outdoor dining make it harder for potential customers find and visit their stores.
The city is also losing money from parking meters. Councilman Ramon Fernandez thinks the parklets should stay, but with a price tag for business owners.
"That could be something we could consider – maybe to have some kind of fee," he said.
The issue won’t be brought up during Monday’s council meeting. Alexander will be reviewing the safety of the parklets and possible alternatives. He is expected to give an update in about a month.
Peekskill Walks posted a petition that it says has been signed by hundreds.