BERLIN – Plans for the addition of more outdoor seating at Blacksmith Restaurant and Bar are moving forward.
At a meeting Wednesday, the Berlin Historic District Commission approved plans for a deck at the Blacksmith but asked the restaurant’s connections to return with details about the roof planned for the outdoor seating space. The changes are meant to help the restaurant adapt to serving customers during a time when coronavirus remains a concern.
“We’re not looking at doing much inside seating for the summer,” said Justine Zegna, owner of the restaurant.
Joe Pino of United Restoration told the commission that Zegna’s plan was to install a deck where the existing concrete pad was by the restaurant’s entrance. He said a pergola on top of the deck would provide protection from the weather.
“It’ll allow them to have outdoor seating capacity no matter the weather,” he said.
Pino said that while vinyl railing for the area had been considered, it was cost prohibitive. Instead, he said railing would be cedar, which would gray and fit in with the historic building.
Commission member Mary Moore said she thought the deck would suit the building the way it was proposed.
“The building itself is a rugged, masculine building,” she said.
Pino and Zegna agreed that they wanted the changes to fit in with the building and the rest of town.
“Aesthetically we’ve been wondering forever what to do with that area,” she said.
Carol Rose, chair of the commission, praised the proposal and said she thought it’d be beautiful.
“We try to do things the way they’re supposed to be done,” Zegna said.
Commission member Robert Poli questioned the material planned for the roof, which Pino initially described as corrugated.
“Corrugated I think might be a little too tacky,” he said.
Moore however said that was quite popular these days.
Zegna said she needed some type of roof to keep patrons dry in case of rain. The board agreed to approve plans for the deck but to have Zegna return to show roof materials at the June 3 commission meeting.
“I don’t want her to have to wait because this is important to get this done for summer,” Rose said.