Reno’s East to Enclose Patio

Wednesday, February 8, 2017, 8:02 am
Alice Dreger

Photo courtesy Google Maps.

Reno’s East obtained permission from City Council last night to enclose its outdoor patio and increase the establishment’s legal occupancy to a total of 372 people. Under a unanimous vote, Council formally gave the restaurant/bar permission to “convert the open space patio to an enclosed patio thereby increasing the occupancy by approximately 20 persons.”

Mary Swanson of Swanson Design Studios in Lansing came to Council to answer questions about the plan. In response to questions from Mayor Mark Meadows, Swanson explained that the “garage doors” that currently exist on the west side of the building will “march twelve feet towards Abbot [Road] and park there.” According to the Planning staff memo on the project, “Seasonal seating for up to 64 persons may be provided in the outdoor service area.”

Swanson said that the impetus for the plan came from owner Jessie Stipcak’s desire to provide shade from the sun coming from the west. Swanson said this is the plan Stipcak preferred for dealing with hot afternoons on the patio.

Meadows and Mayor Pro Tem Beier asked whether noise might be increased from the changes, especially when there are live bands. Swanson said there would be no increase in noise. One of the conditions of approval states that “No live or recorded music or telecommunication device shall be provided in the outdoor service area which is audible from any adjacent residential property.”

The plan appears to have been uncontroversial. No one spoke for or against the matter at Council, and Planning Commission had previously unanimously recommended approval. The police chief and fire chief both okayed the plan, and the business is in good standing with the City.

This was the only significant item on Council’s agenda last night, and the meeting consequently lasted only about twenty minutes. When this reporter remarked to him on the brevity of the meeting, Police Chief Jeff Murphy, who was also in attendance, noted that the short duration meant “there’s time to go to Reno’s.”