Newtown Borough Council Gives Isaac Newton's Restaurant Permission to Have an Outdoor Dining Tent | Newtown News of Interest |

The borough council on August 12 gave Issac Newton’s permission to use part of the borough-owned municipal lot to temporarily put up a tent for outdoor dining.


The 20 foot by 50 foot tent will be located adjacent to the stairs leading to the restaurant’s front door and will provide cover for up to 10 tables, each with no more than four seats each.


Safety barriers will be placed around the tent to anchor it in place and to keep diners well protected from the surrounding parking lot.


“I had not considered additional outdoor seating,” restaurant owner Glenn Blakely told council. “When they put in the 25 percent occupancy, that forced me in this direction.


“It’s not something mechanically I want to keep up,” he told council. “It puts a lot more stress on me and a lot more stress on the staff.”


When asked how long he’ll be using the tent, Blakely said he’d like it gone ASAP. “But I don’t see that happening for at least three months,” he said.


Council asked Blakely about the loss of parking spaces and how that could impact other businesses bordering the lot.


Blakely, who works at the restaurant seven days a week, said since the pandemic the lot “is not even a third full, not even near the restaurant and going toward the bank it's totally empty.” And that condition doesn’t change much throughout the day, he said. “There’s a lot of open space in that lot right now.”


Blakely said he does plan on serving cocktails to outdoor diners who order meals, which he said is allowed under his PLCB license. “I am licensed to serve inside the tent. It essentially becomes an extension of the business,” he said.


Blakely did ask council for a letter from the borough granting him permission to use part of the lot for outdoor dining, which council agreed to do. The letter is required by the PLCB for him to be able to serve alcoholic beverages on borough property.


“I feel for our businesses. I feel for our restaurants. I want them to stay. I don’t want them to close their doors,” said Councilwoman Nicole Rodowicz who made the motion to approve the use of part of the municipal lot.