How Our Patio Seating Works

Now that we've had a couple weeks to get settled in with the patio, we've figured out some ways to make this work. And I'm sure that over time, we'll figure out even better ways. The city set some ground rules when they allowed bars to have sidewalk areas, so we- and you- have to abide by their rules if we want to keep it.

Dave created brand new "patio passes." These passes replace the smoking cards that we used to have at the door. They're attached to spiffy lanyards provided by adidas intern/doorboy Andrew.  If you want to go out on the patio, ask the bartender/doorguy for a pass. Same thing if you want to go outside to smoke.

The new patio passes have the rules for the patio printed on them. It's pretty basic stuff.

Patio Rules

It shouldn't be too hard to follow these few simple rules. If you want to go outside with your drink, just ask the bartender or doorguy for a plastic cup and a patio pass. They'll hook you up.

We hope everyone enjoys our patio!

Some New Additions to Our Patio

Well, our patio's been up for almost a week now, and we've already added a few new things.

20090601_patio_0002An umbrella.  If you've been on the patio during one of the hot, bright days this week, you know what I'm talking about.  There's only one, and it's in the corner, but it helps shade that blinding sun from the west when you're hanging out after work. It will also help keep the birds from leaving an unwanted surprise on you, or worse, in your drink. (It happens.)

A table.  Not a necessity, perhaps, but a nice addition anyway. You might remember the Landshark bench we had in the back room- it was a great bench, but it's an even better table.  Dave took it apart (because that's what he does) and added table legs to it. It now has a new home on the patio.

(Yes, that is Dave's bright yellow scooter just beyond the sidewalk.)


Not that you needed a reason to enjoy a drink on the patio, but we hope these new additions will make it just a little more pleasant.

The Patio is Installed!

The Sandbar now has an outdoor hospitality "area."

Ted brought the trailer today and helped load up the iron railing that Dave built. They hauled it to the bar, positioned it on the sidewalk, and installed it. Yep, it was just about that simple.

Ted operated the drill; he drilled about 28 holes into the concrete sidewalk- four for each post. He was surprised to find that the newer area of the sidewalk was easier to drill. That was a good thing, because most of the posts were sitting on more recently poured concrete.  Dave went around and screwed in the bolts. This railing isn't going anywhere, that's for sure.

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Later this afternoon, Dave finished installing the bench seating. It's pretty cool- he made it so that the seat is attached, but flips up and down. At the end of the night, the staff can flip the seating up and lock it to keep random people from loitering (or sleeping) on the benches. Or, if for some reason we want to close the patio for drinking, we can pull up the seats.

A few of Dave's high school buddies, Jeff and Kevin, happened to be enjoying a few drinks at the bar when he arrived with the benches. They helped him put it in place:

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And of course, photo documentation of the first drink on the patio.  (It's not *actually* the first drink, since Dave couldn't wait for me to get off work and enjoyed a dirty banana outside before I got there, but it's the only first drink I have a picture of.)

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We sat outside for awhile this evening and enjoyed the new patio. Former staffers Ron and Erick joined us and we brainstormed lots of fun ideas to enhance the area, from removable cup holders to awnings.

It was a fun time until a bird on the overhead power line crapped on my sleeve. We definitely need an awning.

More pictures on The Sandbar's Flickr photostream.

Painting the Patio Railing

Today was a big day for the future Sandbar patio.

Dave and I ventured out to the local big-box home improvement store to buy a thousand cans of special spray paint and primer. The dilemma of the day- what color to paint the rail?

Dave wanted to paint it blue. I voted for yellow. We called Peach for her opinion. In the end, blue won and it's a good choice.  It's pretty bright, but like Dave said, it has to compete with a lot in front of the bar!

The tarps were laid, the overalls were donned, and our art director- Brother Pants- arrived on scooter. The painters were ready. Here's a picture of the railing before it was primed and painted:

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I should mention that this railing was built entirely by Dave. He is a master craftsman- he designed and cut and welded everything, and it didn't take him very long either.

Once they got started, the paint went on pretty quickly. Here's a few pictures of Farmer Dave and Brother Pants in action:

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Tomorrow's the big day. Ted and Peach are bringing up their trailer (the one we use every year for the float) to load up the railing and take it to the bar for installation.

More pictures of the progress tomorrow!

Patio in Progress

Ever since we received approval for our sidewalk seating area, Dave has been busy cutting, measuring, welding, and whatever else it is that guys do when they build stuff.

Yesterday he brought the posts for the railing downtown to line them up and make sure they were the right size and shape to fit the area:



So far, so good. The posts aren't there permanently yet, but they will be soon enough. We're hoping for sometime next week. We can't officially allow people on the patio until after Tuesday night's city commission meeting, where the plans go through a second reading. But we hope to have the railing up as soon as possible after that!

Sandbar Sidewalk Seating is Approved!

We are soooo excited today! Our sidewalk dining/hospitality/patio area plans have been approved!

We have been working on these plans ever since the City Commission announced that downtown bars could become eligible for sidewalk seating.  In the past, this was only available to restaurants who had a certain percentage of food sales. However, because of the smoking ban that was passed several years ago, the previous City Commission tweaked the sidewalk dining ordinance slightly, and downtown bars who have no other alternative for a patio or deck can now apply for sidewalk seating.

Our plans were unanimously approved at last night's City Commission meeting.

Dave has already begun working on an iron railing- yes, he's building it himself. Unfortunately, since there are city rules and Historic Resources Commission guidelines, we are bound to a very specific style of railing, which means we can't jazz up our fence Sandbar-style with iron palm trees and other gaudy stuff. But, we're not complaining, we're just grateful to have the fence, no matter what it looks like.

The plans have to go through a second reading at next week's City Commission meeting- some sort of procedural thing, I assume- so we won't have the sidewalk seating area ready in time for this weekend's graduation festivities. But it should be up sometime next week!

You don't have to dream anymore about sitting outside sipping a beer or a Bahama Mama…it will soon be a reality!

Our plan's approval was also mentioned in an LJW staff blog.