CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Just in time for summer, more Cedar Rapids restaurants are opening outdoor dining spaces.
Zins brought back the parklet in front of their restaurant for the second year. It's essentially a deck that extends from the sidewalk out into the street, allowing them to make room for outdoor seating they otherwise couldn't have. It was so popular when they offered it for the first time last year, they decided to bring it back.
Zins is one of two downtown restaurants with parklets this year. They are rented from and installed by the city.
According to the city, there are now nine downtown restaurants offering outdoor dining. They tells us two others have applied for permits -- White Star and Popoli. Several new restaurants in the area are offering outdoor dining, including Kozoku and Ruby's Pizza. Down the road in the New Bo-Czech Village area, the newly opened Newbo Ale House just completed one of the largest patios in town, and Lion Bridge Brewery has one under construction.
”Being so near the bike trail and so many outdoor people in summer -- those people don't want to go inside," said Quinton McClain, Owner or Lion Bridge Brewery. "Maybe for short reprieve and AC But getting outside and having a beer and enjoying the day, that's what I like to do and I imagine others do too."
When complete, the Lion Bridge's patio will seat 30 to 35 people.
Having an outdoor dining area does require special permits. Lion Bridge is hoping all their permits come in and inspection is complete by June 11, so people can enjoy their locally made brews while soaking in some summer sun.