This image, from SGN Associates of Norwich, shows a plan for a second-floor terrace and folding windows in the upper-floor dining room at Mystic Pizza. The Groton Planning and Zoning Commission approved the plan for the deck and windows, as well as three ADA-compliant seats on the sidewalk.
Mystic ― Mystic Pizza plans to add outdoor seating next spring with a new patio.
On Tuesday, the Groton Planning and Zoning Commission approved a site plan for the restaurant, located on West Main Street in downtown Mystic, to add a second-floor terrace as an extension to the existing dining area on the level superior.
Plans include removing part of a sloping roof and, on site, building a 25-seat outdoor terrace. The bridge will be where the original flat roof was, with a parapet facing West Main Street, the application says.
The proposal also includes a sidewalk cafe table with three seats, which will be accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the replacement of approximately five of the existing second-story dining room windows with fold-out windows. to create more of an outdoor feeling.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for outdoor seating at restaurants has skyrocketed, so the restaurant wanted to make sure it provided outdoor seating for customers, said Stephan Nousiopoulos, architect at SGN Associates in Norwich, at The Day. Alfresco dining will have views of downtown Mystic.
He said he anticipates the outdoor dining area should be ready to open as soon as the weather picks up in the spring.
“It’s an exciting project,” said Nousiopoulos. “I think it’s going to be fun. The views will be amazing from there.
The bridge will be open from spring to fall and on dry days, depending on the application.
Nousiopoulos assured the commission that there will be no music on the deck and that it will be a quiet space to enjoy the outdoors.
“This is for a family dinner and not a club,” he wrote in the app.
Nousiopoulos told the commission that the existing restaurant is built directly on the property line on West Main and Bank streets, so the only option for outdoor seating was to build it upstairs and into the existing perimeter of the structure.
The existing main dining room on the lower level has 87 seats and the existing upper dining room has 72 seats, depending on demand. Nousiopoulos said the restaurant has a shared validated parking program through the Mystic Museum of Art parking lot and some on-site parking lots, and there is a gravel parking lot on Bank Street for employee parking.
The commission unanimously approved the plan, but added conditions, including that the owner participate in a parking validation program and post a notice of the program, install a sign on the deck that says noise is restricted to hours from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., no amplified sound is permitted, awnings must be properly secured and retractable, and umbrellas above tables must be weighted.
During Tuesday’s meeting, committee members asked questions about noise, the number of seats, and the height and width of the proposed railing.
Nousiopoulos said the rail is narrow, which will prevent people from putting their drinks on it.
In response to a commission member’s safety concern about a person standing in front of the new open windows on the second floor of the existing upper-level dining room, Nousiopoulos said the rendering represents the intent of create indoor-outdoor space but window sizes cannot yet be determined until demolition begins. A 42 inch high railing will extend along the deck and windows.
The exterior patio and window plan has already received a Certificate of Adequacy from the Historic District Commission. ADA accessible table and seating did not require Historic District approval.