WESTPORT, Conn. — Now that warmer weather has finally arrived, Acqua Ristorante and La Villa Trattoria — two downtown Westport restaurants — are once again set to offer outdoor dining.
Both eateries gained approval from the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday to reopen pop-up cafes outside their restaurants, like they did last year.
“Thank you very much for last year; it [the cafe] was very successful,” Acqua general manager Marc Murphy told the selectmen at Wednesday's meeting. “People loved it, and it brought more foot traffic.”
Michael Sornatale, owner of La Villa Trattoria, agreed with Murphy, saying the pop-up cafe outside his restaurant was a big hit with customers.
Unlike traditional outdoor dining spaces created on sidewalks, pop-up cafes — popular in New York City — are set up in converted curbside parking spaces outside the business. The town last March approved a policy that allows restaurants and businesses to construct pop-up cafes and seating along certain one-way streets in town.
Both Acqua and La Villa Trattoria will follow the same setup as they did last year. The Acqua cafe will be built in Parker-Harding Plaza and will seat 32 people among 12 tables: eight two-seat tables and four four-seat tables, Murphy said.
The cafe outside La Villa Trattoria will be created along Bay Street and will consist of 20 seats among five tables, Sornatale said.
Each restaurant can open its cafe after receiving proper documentation from the town. Murphy said he expects the Acqua cafe to be “rip-roaring” this weekend, and Sornatale said his cafe will likely open sometime next week.
"It will definitely be open, at the latest, by the end of next week," Sornatale told The Westport Daily Voice.
Under the town’s policy, pop-up cafes are allowed from April 1 to Nov. 1 and are paid for by the business opening it.
Acqua, 43 Main St., and La Villa Trattoria, 3 Bay St., are so far the only two Westport businesses to take advantage of the policy.
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