Borough Council Approves Seasonal ‘Pedlet’ Outdoor Dining Room at Pickle’s

State College Borough Council met virtually Monday night to unanimously approve the construction of a seasonal walkway that would promote alfresco dining at Bill Pickle’s Taproom during warmer months while improving pedestrian access along from South Allen Street.

The “pedlet” will be built and put in place from spring to fall, where there are currently two parking spaces in front of the restaurant at 106 S. Allen Street. It will essentially create a sidewalk that will direct foot traffic around Pickle’s new outdoor dining area.

The pedlet will be built by Hotel State College & Co., owners of the property. The company will be responsible for building the pedlet no earlier than April 1 and removing it by October 31.

According to the project description, the firm aims to build the pedlet “with an emphasis on providing an attractive, as-rendered walkway and terrace that enhances the streetscape along Allen Street. “.

Rendering of proposed pedlet and bridge for Bill Pickle’s Taproom, 106 S. Allen St.

The area will be accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will remain fenced on the street side. Its construction will have to go around a nearby tree and a power pole, and it will move a nearby bench. However, borough engineer Andy Arnold backed the project last week and said the overall concept “is there”.

Hotel State College will essentially lease the parking spaces occupied by the pedlet to the borough to replace lost revenue.

Jeff Sorg, CEO of Pat Croce and Company, owner of Hotel State College Enterprises, said last week that the company wanted to explore new outdoor dining concepts that address concerns about narrow sidewalks created by the current Pickle Bridge. , approved in 2017.

” We have examined [a pedlet] for many of our restaurants as it gains popularity as a way to promote walkways while facilitating increased outdoor dining,” Sorg told the State College Transportation Commission. “Hopefully this model is one that will work. We think it’s an attractive look. From what we have seen in other downtown locations, we hope this will encourage pedestrian visits and provide a pleasant experience for downtown customers.

At Monday night’s board meeting, Curtis Shulman, operations manager for Hotel State College and Pickle’s, said the pedlet will create “a more natural flow” on Allen Street and help the property’s facility to appear “more complete”.

Council members also said they supported the plan, noting that it was an improvement over previous versions of Pickle’s away setup.

“This is a very creative and innovative solution for outdoor dining and the layouts are wonderful,” said councilor Katherine Yeaple. “I think this is a step to making downtown State College more pedestrian-friendly.”

Councilor Theresa Lafer said she was not in favor of the previous outdoor dining area design, but liked the new concept.

“Oddly, since I didn’t like the last version of this, I prefer this,” Lafer said. “I think the idea of ​​using a space above the road for protected pedestrians is much better than trying to fit everyone into the space we were doing before, which was potentially quite dangerous and really difficult for anyone who wasn’t extremely mobile. I think well built it will be a much better option.

Last week, the Downtown State College Improvement District submitted a letter of support for the plan. Commission members said the pedlet would “enhance the downtown experience” and bring value to the borough.

Geoff Rushton of contributed to this report.

By day, Matt is a senior journalism graduate. By night, he’s the editor of Onward State. He’s a big Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football fan, and a washed-up batsman from Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The fastest way to his heart is pizza Margherita and “Arrested Development” quotes. Follow him on Twitter @mattditiso_ if you hate yourself or email Matt at [email protected] if you hate it.

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