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Clarendon Hills hires consultant to help with outdoor dining


Clarendon Hills has hired a consulting architect to help plan the future of outdoor dining areas in the village.
Gary R. Weber Associates, Inc. was purchased for $20,030, with an initial meeting between village staff and consultant to be held within the next two weeks.
“We are exploring with the community what we want our outdoor dining areas to look like going forward,” Village Manager Zach Creer said. “The current layout was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now that we are through that, the (Village) Board wants to make sure these spaces meet the aesthetic standards we set for our permanent spaces in the downtown design district.” .
“The hiring of the consultant was to work on possible ideas for how to preserve the energy that comes with outdoor dining and, frankly, make it a little nicer than the current concrete barricade look.”
That could include making some spaces permanent over time by creating parklets that can function as private dining areas, Creer said.
“But we are still in the early stages and are currently brainstorming ideas,” he said.
Community Development Director Ed Cage said over the next few meetings:
Weber Associates will determine when staff expects to receive a report from the consultant.
Clarendon Hills Chamber of Commerce events manager Shannon McDonald said she believes the outdoor dining effort is necessary to move away from temporary Covid measures and steer downtown in an aesthetically harmonious direction while remaining affordable for local business owners.
“Outdoor dining is great for our community, and I always look forward to ways we can increase our downtown appeal to attract more restaurants, customers and businesses to Clarendon Hills,” he said.
Nick Fatouros, owner of Thassos Greek Restaurant at 1 Walker Boulevard, said outdoor dining is crucial not only for restaurants in Clarendon Hills, but also for the village as a community.
“We live in Arlington Heights, and the village there has done a lot about outdoor dining,” he said. “By turning downtown into an outdoor dining hub, they have drawn customers and revenue from many surrounding areas. This could be a good idea for Clarendon Hills, too.”

Chuck Fieldman is a freelance reporter for the Pioneer Press.


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