The pitfalls of outdoor seating

19th and Sansom

It is just barely spring and already I’ve encountered one of the things that deeply peeves me about Philadelphia in the warmer months. Now, before I get going on this mini-rant, let me say that I really enjoy bars and restaurants with outdoor tables. It’s fun to sit outside with a drink or a meal. But I don’t love it when the tables are large enough that they make it impossible for even a single file of people to pass comfortably.

And over at Oh! Shea’s, that’s exactly what they’ve done. Their outdoor tables, coupled with those potted trees, make it nearly impossible to walk down that portion of Sansom Street without bumping diners and repeatedly excusing yourself (although not everyone bothers with the excusing).

It bugs me and I’m not afraid to say it.

5 Comments so far

  1. Jeff (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 1:05 am

    reminds me of parts of little italy in nyc. the restaurants think they own the sidewalks, and put up barriers forcing people to walk on the streets to get around.

  2. Lou Partridge (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 9:16 am

    it looks like you were passing by on the same night that I was … if they just removed those potted plants, it would give pedestrians just a tad more sidewalk to navigate …

  3. Marisa (unregistered) on March 28th, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

    Jeff, I couldn’t believe that the first time I walked through Little Italy. It seemed insane that the city let them occupy the sidewalks that way.

    Lou, moving the plants would make it a whole lot easier. I don’t know why they put them there. They could also get some slightly slimmer tables, those things they’ve got out there are kind of huge.

  4. Joe S (unregistered) on March 29th, 2007 @ 8:17 am

    About the plant placement. Just guessing, but I believe they are there so that patrons can look out onto greenery instead of some beat up car.
    They probably also cut down on the street noise.

  5. Marisa (unregistered) on March 29th, 2007 @ 9:23 am

    Joe, I certainly the like the plants in concept. They do make sitting outside at Oh! Shea’s a nicer thing. They just really constrict the walkable sidewalk, which is a pain.

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