Another downtown restaurant close to getting outdoor patio

Bistro Basque at 13 River St. is moving closer to becoming the third downtown restaurant to have a patio on city-owned land at 25-27 River St.

The Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) voted unanimously at its Oct. 17 meeting to recommend that the Board of Aldermen approve a 5-year lease with restaurant owner David Fernandez.

The P&Z vote was an 8-24 review, which is an administrative procedure by which the P&Z reviews any use of city land before the aldermen make a final decision. The item was not a public hearing, so there was no opportunity for public comment. The aldermen are expected to vote on the proposal at an upcoming meeting.

City Planner David B. Sulkis said the patio would be adjacent to the one for Eli’s Tavern at 21 Daniel St. and would be accessed from the existing rear patio for Bistro Basque.

Eli’s received approval from the P&Z on Oct. 18, 2016, and from the aldermen on Nov. 10, 2016, after more than a year of trying to get city approval. By contrast, the P&Z vote on the Bistro Basque patio was quick and without comment.

Café Atlantique, 33 River St. had the first patio on the city property.