Danbury Mayor Says New Outside Dining Law Gives a Good Vibe to the City
Danbury is embracing a new law allowing for outside dining and drinking Downtown.
Proponents believe this will help the restaurants in the Danbury provide an enhanced experience for their diners but not everyone is a fan.
CT Insider published an article about the law on Thursday (5/18/23) written by Rob Ryser. The local news piece featured quotes from a Hat City Councilman who does not appear to be in favor of the outdoor dining plan.
We spoke to Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito just hours after the article published and asked him about the law, here is what Esposito had to say.
What is the new law and what does it allow for?
"The new law is basically tightening up the easement across the sidewalk to give a better walking path. It gives these small businesses that we have here in Danbury, we saw during COVID we needed it, the outside dining. It definitely proved it's a good scenario so our zoning board approved the ability to continue doing that. I saw that article and I saw some of the comments and I have to tell you I disagree because enforcement is key and we always enforce the guidelines that are set by the city boards and commissions and it's going to be a good thing for our businesses here in Danbury. We're going to provide all the support we can to those businesses and we'll oversee the operation if there is a problem, we'll handle it."
Empire of the Incas was sort of the test case and they've done an amazing job. The nights when I've been there, to sit outside what a beautiful thing. That's what I want I moved to Downtown to be part of the action, to walk to a restaurant, to sit out on the sidewalk and eat dinner, it's why I moved there.
"I agree Lou, as you know I was born and raised here. To go Downtown and be able to socialize and have a really nice environment. My wife and I have been there before, the Empire of the Incas. It's really a good scenario, it gives a good vibe to the city and I definitely think we're going to continue to do it. As far as the rules and regulations, there are things that need to be tuned up but it's definitely supportive of what is happening down there."
The comments the Mayor referenced were made by Paul Rotello and were published in the CT Insider article. Rotello is a Danbury City Councilman who said:
This is going to lead to a lot of tension between outdoor drinkers and the noise that entails and perhaps even people coming out and serenading (nearby homes) with acoustic guitars and whatnot — partying basically — fueled by alcohol.
I appreciate outdoor dining, but there is a way to do it that recognizes the importance of pedestrian thoroughfares, and sound and behavioral issues that come with people exuberantly entertaining themselves.
Imagine the chaos if we allow exuberant entertainment.
If we have too much fun this guy may show up.
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I actually hosted a pointless meeting at Empire of the Incas, it's where I met Mayor Esposito before he was Mayor.
Listen to our entire conversation with Mayor Esposito about the new dining law below.
Below is the conversation we had about the article prior to the Mayor joining the show.
I'm certain the Mayor does not want to co-op with my extreme attitude on this one but this is a big deal.
The nightlife in Danbury used to be great and it could be again. I'm very passionate when it comes to this subject.
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