NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- Turning a park spot into a place where people can eat and drink. It's not a new concept, but it is new to the city of New Haven.
There are hundreds of parking spaces in New Haven and now one has been converted into a terrace for a new restaurant, Meat and Company on Crown Street.
"I wouldn't want to live in a parking spot, but for lunch or a meal I think it's quite alright," said Andrew Barthel.
And that's exactly the attitude the restaurant and the city are counting on.
"I love to be part of this city where the sidewalk isn't something to be feared, it's something to be celebrated," said John Ginnetti, Meat and Co.
The restaurant will pay the city a fee to use the space for dining, roughly the same amount that it would bring in if it were being used for parking.
From the city's point of view this is all about continuing to make the downtown area a destination point; a place where people want to come and spend their hard earned money.
The Mayor and other city officials were the first to get a taste of the terrace.
"This is an extension, as the sidewalks have gotten big, what businesses and people have told us is what they wanted is to be outdoors," said Mayor John DeStefano.
However, in a city where 'on street' parking is often hard to come by, is this the best possible use of space?
The city's transportation boss, who came up with the terrace idea after a visit to Montreal says, absolutely.
"There are always spaces available in the structured facilities and quite honestly, that's where we'd much rather have a car and have the vibrancy that's going to exist on the sidewalk," said Jim Travers, NH Director of Transportation, Traffic and Parking.
This type of outdoor dining is obviously seasonal, so Meat and Company expects its terrace to close up shop for the year in a couple of months.
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