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Commission approves sidewalk cafés

May 2, 2012

by Nick Antz

Both the Shogun Restaurant and Park View Pub were granted permission to open sidewalk cafés at Wednesday’s meeting of the City of Albany’s Historic Resources Commission.

Shogun Restaurant owner Frank Lee will place nine black metal mesh tables, with two seats each, in front of his building at 457 Madison Ave. The tables will be surrounded by a barrier consisting of ropes hung between black posts.

“I think it adds to the culture of the area,” said John Wagner, who sits on the commission.

The proposed layout for Shogun’s new sidewalk cafe- Photo by Nick Antz

The only request from the commission came from member William Allen, who asked if Lee could choose a more contemporary style of furniture to better match the rest of the restaurant’s exterior. Lee agreed, and said that he would definitely look into that suggestion when buying the furniture.

Cheri West, owner of the Park View Pub at 50 Madison Ave., has a similar plan for her new café. West will place four black, metal mesh tables with four seats each in front of her building. The tables will be cordoned off by a barrier made of chains strung between black stanchions.

West’s plan faced opposition from Arnold Slow, who owns apartments adjacent to the proposed café. Slow said the area would become too heavily congested because of foot traffic from the nearby Albany Medical Center and bus stop. He also cited privacy concerns for residents living on the first floor of his property.

An outline of the Park View Pub’s plans for their sidewalk cafe- Photo by Nick Antz

“I’m not against sidewalk cafés,” he said, “I’m just against having a café in that particular spot.”

Both the Shogun Restaurant and Park View Pub will have to reapply for permission to set up the cafés again next year, said commission member Robert Arnold. Arnold told Slow that if the café causes a problem, he can bring his complaints to next year’s commission meeting, where it will be taken into consideration before the Park View Pub’s café is approved again.

West said she doesn’t expect any complaints.

“I work very hard to make sure it doesn’t present a problem to surrounding neighbors.”




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