Downtown Casper Sidewalk Cafés a New Possibility?

While some think adding more outdoor patio space in downtown is a great idea, others say the limited parking spaces are too valuable to compromise.

At city council's work session tonight we got a look into what downtown Casper's future might look like.

A "sidewalk cafe program" was city manager, Carter Napier's suggestion to council-members, proposing a concept for businesses in the core of downtown, interested in having outdoor seating.

The idea?

A sidewalk cafe could be created if both sidewalk and parking spaces could be maintained.

"The idea is that if those two things can be met, a permit could be extended that would effectively be in place for a season, f or certain months of the year," said City Manager Napier.

The proposed season, April through October when potential sidewalk cafe's would be separated with temporary fencing.

If the sidewalks were compromised, business owners would need to create a curb going around the patio area, not to mention, accommodations would also have to be made for compromised parking spots.

"We do believe that businesses in the downtown area will be able to take advantage of this program universally."

Wonder Bar owners were the first to bring the cafe sidewalk idea to city council.

"Seeing other downtowns around the country do similar things, I think it's pretty feasible," said Cole Cercy, Wonder Bar owner.

Cercy says they’ve purchased 50 parking spaces in the garage downtown, dedicating 5 for public parking.

Despite this, majority ruled in city council's decision not to move forward with the program tonight, as city attorney, Bill Luben, suggested revisiting it at another work session.

Some council members felt they needed to wait and see what the $80,000 downtown parking study would reveal first before going ahead with a program affecting parking.