MODIFIED SEATING PLAN GETS OK
Buona Sera’s outdoor dining arrangement on Maple Avenue, as seen from the corner of Monmouth Street.
They’re back, this time with the blessing of the Red Bank mayor and council.
We’re talking about new outdoor tables at Buona Sera Ristorante, a setup that is the target of frequent pedestrian complaints.
Last September, the governing body rejected a request by restaurateur Chris Mariani to install five additional tables along the Maple Avenue side of his business, which also fronts on Monmouth Street.
The proposed seating was to be outside the catering hall added to the existing restaurant last year.
Councilmembers shot down the request, arguing it would put diners too close to Monmouth Street, which gets a heavy flow of pedestrian traffic to and from the Count Basie Theatre.
Despite the rejection, the restaurant last month went ahead and put out four tables before complaints prompted borough code enforcers to order them removed.
Last week, the council allowed the four tables to return, overruling complaints from pedestrians who say there isn’t enough room to pass the setup without making a detour into the street.
“He’s made the tables smaller,” and reduced the number of seats from the proposed 27 to 16, said Councilman Art Murphy. “There really is no foot traffic from the corner and down his way.”
Mayor Pasquale Menna said the restaurant has “brought a certain sense of liveliness and vitality” to its neighborhood. If the additional tables turn out to be a problem, “I’m sure we can approach Mr. Mariani and he’ll address it.”
“If there’s ever a problem, come see me, and I’ll take care of it,” Mariani told the council.
Councilmembers Mike DuPont, Ed Zipprich, Juanita Lewis and Art Murphy voted in favor of the request; Kathleen Horgan and Sharon Lee voted against it.