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Highlandtown Businesses Push For Outdoor Seating

Highlandtown businesses want to offer you a seat outside this summer.
Six restaurants and businesses in the Highlandtown Merchants Association submitted applications to the city's zoning board this month for outdoor table seating. The move is an attempt by area businesses to boost sales and beautify their neighborhood with outdoor seating.
The applications for outdoor seating were part of a plan, two years in the making, to create a more inviting space for diners and shoppers in the area, says Jody Rosoff, treasurer of the Highlandtown Merchants Association and owner of Docs Smokeshop on Eastern Avenue. Rosoff wants outdoor seating in front her business. 
Other businesses that want to have outdoor seating include the Creative Alliance, Filippo's Pizzeria, Mi Viejo Pueblito, and Little Morocco Cafe.
Rosoff says that outdoor seating for restaurants and other businesses will add dimension to storefronts and create a more "charming" atmosphere. The tables will also invite guests to stay around to shop and dine.
The Highlandtown Merchants Association paid for the $250 initial permit fee per business to encourage businesses to participate in the outdoor seating campaign, Rosoff says.
But the total cost of having outdoor seating is likely an investment of several thousand dollars for the expense of the tables and additional yearly fees.There are 300 businesses that are part of Highlandtown Main Street
As part of the permitting process, each merchant had to present a document with the proposed outdoor seating in front of their business. Each business will go before the city’s zoning board to determine if the business will be allowed to have outdoor seating. The city’s zoning board has yet to set a hearing date on applications from merchants in Highlandtown.

The Creative Alliance was already putting together an application for outdoor seating when they were approached by the merchant's association. The performing arts venue wanted to add outdoor table service for its new restaurant project in partnership with Clementine. Clementine at Creative Alliance, a full restaurant, will open May 17, says Andre Mazelin, theatre and rental manager at the Creative Alliance. 
Sources: Jody Rosoff, treasurer of the Highlandtown Merchants Association and owner of Docs Smokeshop on Eastern Avenue.
Andre Mazelin, theatre and rental manager at the Creative Alliance. 
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, [email protected]
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