Lakefront business patio expansion gets preliminary approval

By Brandon Anderegg

May 12, 2019

 Velocity, Brewers Two Cafe and Artisan 179 have have asked the Plan Commission to expand their outdoor patio seating into the parking stalls and sidewalk in front of their businesses.
Brandon Anderegg/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE – The Plan Commission has approved conditional use permits for three lakefront businesses requesting to expand their outdoor patio seating, but commissioners applied a number of contingencies.

Artisan 179 and Velocity requested to set up a patio in three parking spaces in front of each business while Brewer’s Two Cafe will set up tables in the boulevard before their business.

Although no one at Thursday night’s Plan Commission meeting voiced any concerns, several people who commented on a Freeman Facebook post were concerned about the lack of parking in downtown Pewaukee.

One condition of approval is that any business taking up parking spots for the purposes of expanded patio dining must replace those spots with their own private parking spots. Those spots have to be marked as public accordingly, said Jeff Knutson, village president.

However, commissioners were even more focused on safety as they considered the possible danger of a vehicle traveling 25 mph down Wisconsin Avenue past dining tables stationed in parking stalls adjacent to the street.

Artisan 179’s plan calls for planters or barriers that would contain residents to the patio and protect them from vehicles. However, plan commissioners wanted more protection and asked that businesses have fencing in addition to barriers. Commissioners also required fire and police chief approval of barriers to make sure they could withstand or protect patio-goers from an oncoming vehicle.

Commissioner Ryan Lange agreed that safety was of utmost importance. However, Lange also said the patios could be a positive for businesses, adding that this may be an opportunity to “see how it goes.”

The conditional use permits still need Village Board approval and will require renewal on Nov. 1, 2019.