New Outdoor Dining Designs and MSPA Readies for Board Elections

View depicts possible layout and shading type for parklets. Image provided by City of Glendale


The Montrose Shopping Park Association (MSPA) held its monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 7. The meeting began with a presentation by Bradley Calvert, assistant director of Community Development for the City of Glendale, on the outdoor dining designs for Montrose Shopping Park.

“Our design team has been hard at work,” Calvert said. “We spent [Thursday, Oct. 7] morning on site, walking Honolulu Avenue.”

The parklets that had been set up along Honolulu Avenue during the pandemic allowed restaurants to provide service outside when interior dining was not allowed due to COVID-19 ordinances. The public and restaurant owners grew to love the extended outdoor dining in the Montrose Shopping Park but the K-rail parklets were a temporary fix to an unusual situation. Restaurant owners and other business owners and the pubic reached out to the City of Glendale asking to find a more permanent solution that would allow outdoor dining to continue in Montrose and throughout Glendale.

Calvert and MSPA created a design team task force that included MSPA members and restaurant owners responsible for coming up with a solution.

Calvert explained the designs presented were a prototype and there might be some changes as the Glendale City Council reviews the options. The task force initially looked into five locations for installation of the designs: near Thee Elbow Room, Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria, Basin 141, Bluefish and Town Kitchen and Grill. They will be looking at other locations after this initial review.

“All but one is taking advantage to hug against the curb. This allowed us to shrink in width and is a good solution because it returns a good number of parking spaces that are [presently] being occupied [by the K-rails],” Calvert said. 

The solutions proposed would return about two thirds of the parking spaces that had been taken by the K-rail parklets. Also being explored are designs with a natural wood finish and color coordinating the parklets/outdoor dining to blend more with the overall Montrose Shopping Park aesthetics.

They will be designed to have four posted corners that will allow restaurant owners to string lights and add umbrellas or “sail-like” canopies, which are easy to put up and take down.

There will be 18 inches between the nearest parking space and the wooden fence/wall that outline the parklet.

Calvert said a request was made to find a way to incorporate some type of vegetation and those opportunities are being looked into.

The contractor, according to Calvert, is from California and the construction should be completed between “two and six weeks” after the Council makes a decision. Construction will not require digging up the street so the placement should be relatively quick, which was and is a concern for restaurant owners who worry about having to lay off or reduce employee hours due to the construction.

Calvert said he is continuing to reach out to businesses to answer questions and gather input. Any additional fees for the new parklets and outdoor dining will be determined by the City Council; however, the payment for the construction will come out of the COVID recovery funds the City was awarded.

Gigi Garcia, MSPA board member, was concerned about notifying the local restaurant owners about the removal of the K-rails, especially since they will not all be removed at the same time. The K-rails were scheduled for removal beginning Oct. 13.

        “I do think we need real coordination,” she said. Garcia added she would not like to see that the restaurant owners move everything on Oct. 12 expecting K-rail removal the next day only to discover that their K-rail is not due to be removed until Oct. 16.

        “I don’t want to see empty K-rails,” she said.

The designs will be presented to the Glendale City Council on Oct. 19 at its regular board meeting.

Another discussion at the MSPA meeting concerned board elections. Each member of the MSPA board is elected to serve a three-year term and they are volunteer positions. An Election Committee was formed with board members Kim Kelly from Merle Norman Cosmetics, Andre Ordubegian from Copy Network and Dale Dawson from Mountain Rose Gifts, who is also the executive director of the MSPA. Dawson will be the chair of the committee. Two seats on the board that are now occupied by Gigi Garcia from It Takes A Village and Ken Grayson from Grayson’s Tune Town are up for election.

The nomination period is from Oct. 15 to Oct. 31. Dawson said MSPA businesses would be notified on the process of nominations.