Planning commission recommends patio changes at Classic Grille & Bar

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of changes to the outdoor patios at the Classic Grille & Bar.

Charlie Hartman, one of the owners of the restaurant at 825 First St. SE, made the request for the changes during the commission's Wednesday, March 26, meeting. He asked for an amendment to the conditional-use permit for the business, allowing for additional outdoor seating to serve customers food and drinks. The area would also offer customers a place to smoke.

Ryan Streff, intern with New Prague's Planning Department, explained that the restaurant owners were proposing to construct a screened-in porch on the east side of the building. Improvements would also be made to the existing patio on the south side of the building and its east side, which will be directly north of the porch. Fencing would be improved around the two patios, and landscaping would be added to the patio on the south side. The changes will provide more screening, making the two patios comply with the city's new rules on outdoor seating. There were also two options proposed for the porch area, with one having less screening.

Access to all three areas would only be through the restaurant itself. The changes would result in the addition of 64 seats.

Commission member Bob Gilman noted of the two choices for the porch, he preferred the roof from the first option as it blended into the existing structure. He also asked if the curb or sidewalk would have to be removed near the south patio to allow for landscaping.

New Prague City Planner Ken Ondich said the business wouldn't have to remove those areas, although any landscaping would have to be permanent and provide screening.

The commission recommended that details on the landscaping be worked out between city staff and representatives of the business.

The request will be presented to the New Prague City Council at its Monday, April 21, meeting.

Preliminary and final plat

The commission unanimously recommended approval of a preliminary and final plat for New Prague Business Park 10th addition. The area is where the city's new Emergency Services Center will be built. The site has to be platted before it can be developed or a building permit can be issued.

The plat is also needed as Fifth Avenue NW will be extended through the property to connect with Sixth Street NW. Fifth Avenue is a one-way street that currently has a dead end near an adjacent residential area. While that part of Fifth Avenue will remain a one-way street, the addition to the avenue will be a two-way street, allowing the New Prague Fire Department and New Prague Ambulance Service access to the site.

Ondich noted that comments from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) are needed since the area is near Highway 21. He expected the city to receive a response from MnDOT within the next two weeks.

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