The Patio to Reopen With 21 Outdoor Seats

by | Apr 11, 2024

Above: The Patio, in January. The tent will not be coming back. Instead, that area will be used for parking and the outdoor seats will be right in front of the building. 

At their meeting Monday (4/8/24), the Town Council provisionally approved a request by The Patio, a popular casual dining spot at the intersection of Main Street and Union Street owned by Jason and Angel Winpenny, to move to exclusively outdoor dining on a seasonal basis. 

The town’s approval is subject to the following conditions: 

  • In regard to this license, seasonal shall be defined as May 1 to October 1. 
  • The business will close by 10pm on both weekdays and weekends. 
  • There will be no indoor or outdoor seating beyond the 21 outdoor dining seats indicated in the business’s plan, and specifically, no picnic tables.
  • A modified parking plan must be provided in accordance with Section 260 of the zoning ordinance to be approved by the zoning enforcement officer.
  • The business will implement protective measures for outdoor diners as determined by the building official (e.g., concrete barriers separating parking and dining areas).

The town’s decision came after around an hour of discussion, mostly centered around the issue of parking. Under the current zoning regulation for that property, they need a 1:3 ratio – that’s 7 spaces for the 21 seats.

In particular, there was disagreement over the extent to which The Patio’s proposed seven parking spaces had already been approved by the Council in the past, with Winpenny insisting that the outdoor dining plan did not change the parking situation at all.

Members of the council also expressed confusion about whether the seven parking spaces had been approved, with Council member Zarrella asking: “Are we saying as a council we didn’t approve it properly last time?” He added, “I don’t know if we know that any of the parking spaces in the entire town are approved.” 

However, Town Solicitor Andrew Teitz, joining via Zoom, said that the town had no plan on record indicating those seven spaces. 

He also expressed concern about the accuracy of the diagram shared by the Winpennys, arguing it did not provide enough information to determine if it was in compliance with zoning regulations indicating the minimum dimensions of parking spaces. 

Council Member Renu Englehart similarly expressed concern about parking, as well as potential noise disturbances caused by an exclusively outdoor dining model. 

Two members of the public expressed concerns. Anne Horvath, who lives next door, said her biggest concern was parking, specifically referring to new traffic caused by recently developed housing on Union Street 

“Just the amount of chaos that I can anticipate with people pulling in and pulling out, picking up t0-go items is a big concern honestly,” Horvath said. 

Dan Speca agreed with Horbath, adding that he was concerned about noise if the business would be operating outdoors until 1 a.m., which led to the provision requiring a 10:00pm close. 

At times, the discussion became tense and emotional, with Angel Winpenny at one point seeming to concede defeat. 

“We’re going to close. I don’t even care. Seriously, I’m trying to open up for four or five months, and I’m getting tortured,” she said. “I’m done.” 

But in the end, Winpenny did not withdraw her petition, and the three members of the council present ultimately approved her proposal with the conditions attached. 

If the zoning enforcement officer and building official confirm The Patio’s compliance with the conditions set forth, the Winpennys will be able to open again. 

Jared Paolino is a freelance reporter for EG News.

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Gregory Ferland
Gregory Ferland
April 13, 2024 9:19 pm

Why are neighbors such NIMBYS?

You knew that if you buying in/on/around Main Street you are buying in a mixed use area.

If you don’t like it, you never should have moved into such an area.

EG council has got it all wrong.

Small Businesses is what fuels the economy.

And council bowing down to a few vocal people is shameful.

They need to either A.) Grow a spine, B.) Educate themselves further in Economics and Civics, or C.) Have a moment of clarity BEYOND ego and self importance and realize that in order to do their job, they have to do what they were elected to do… to represent the best interests of ALL citizens; not only of EG, but also the Entire State of Rhode Island. (AND! Also to outside visitors/tourism)

Constituents should be advocated for without question.

But not solely without a larger view of impact of effect it has on everyone else.

Governance is not easy, that is clear. And as such the mistakes made in regards to this business CAN and SHOULD be rectified.

RI has a TERRIBLE business climate, as a whole.

It is crippling us as a state.

It’s time to start doing something different.

The Winpennys treatment is abhorrent.

I do not know them, never met them, no clue who they are… but they seemingly seem as perfect poster child’s for what Ri Government and Municipalities do in error to small enterprises.


Begs the question:
Does ANYBODY in RI realize how MUCH more we pay in property taxes, income tax, utilities, insurance VERSUS other states?

HINT: I’m guessing not.

ANSWER: RI citizens pay more percentage of income towards government expenses in aggregate than most other states.
That makes us less competitive than other states and puts RI at a disadvantage for any growth and advancement for our economy and future generations. It’s no surprise we are losing our best and brightest progeny to greener pastures in other states.

We CANNOT keep persecuting small businesses and innovation for the sake of keeping “status quo”.

“Status Quo” is no longer an option.

It has gotten us nowhere…

People trying to strive for betterment of community should be celebrated and NOT derided.

I will patronize “The Patio” once a week for every week they are open for certain.

My fear probably will be proven sadly…
Nobody will read or respond to this post….

Apathy is at a crescendo for certain…


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