What about the patio?

The last post on this blog, now over a year ago, was about getting a patio for Rockhound. We had lots of positive discussion from a number of city officials, and had hoped to build it last summer. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Why? Well, here’s the short version.

The City of Madison has a great deal of regulation involving construction of things in the city right of way, or the terrace. The Rockhound patio would be in the city terrace – city owned property between the sidewalk and the street. Downtown and on State Street, it’s very common to have a sidewalk cafe on those spots. They city has already put in the concrete, so it becomes relatively easy for restaurants to do so.

Unfortunately, in my spot, the concrete isn’t already built, so the city had a whole host of approvals that had to be done, including a traffic pattern and moving a tree (that doesn’t exist, but was in the original plan) among others. These approvals go through too many different city entities and there was a bit too much back and forth, with no answers.

To keep the story short, it wasn’t possible last year, and I certainly wasn’t happy with the city. I can’t blame the employees, they were just doing their jobs, but the city definitely legislated itself into an unhelpful corner; and there was very poor communication between the city approval entities leading to confusion. Based on where we are this year, it’s likely not possible this year either. But, it can still happen. We’re still working through the approvals (we’ve finally made good progress!) and we know you, our customers, want the patio. The best way to help us out is the same way we asked last year. Please, come on in! Make an extra trip or two to Rockhound this summer. Business slows down a great deal, in part because we don’t have that patio. So a catch 22 – we can’t afford to build it without strong revenue, but we need that patio to help increase revenue.

So, won’t you help us out? Spread the word, bring in a friend, grab a group and come in for a drink. Keep us a bit more full this summer, and we’ll be able to get things lined up for that patio next spring.

Thanks everyone and cheers!

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