Outdoor seating area to be made permanent at Irish Coffee

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 5, 2022

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GROSSE POINTE FARMS — People who enjoy dining outdoors at longtime local favorite Irish Coffee Bar & Grill, at 18666 Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Farms, will now be able to do so even when it’s not a sunny day.

The Farms City Council voted unanimously at a meeting Sept. 13 in favor of a site plan to build a covered structure off the back of the building — where outdoor dining had already been taking place during the last two years.

“We want to take the temporary outdoor seating and make it permanent … so people can eat outside when it’s raining,” explained the project’s designer, Matt Badrak, of Badrak Design Group.

The 690-square-foot structure will feature a shingled roof and bead-board ceiling, but it will be open at the sides, with railings or planters slated to be placed along the sides to control the area.

“It’s the same footprint as the tent was,” restaurant manager Michael Kennedy said of the outdoor structure.

It will offer seating for up to 16 diners, Kennedy said.

Because the structure won’t be fully walled-in and, therefore, can’t be heated, it will only be used during warmer months.

“Mainly, I think the use for this would be the summertime, when the inside (of the restaurant) is not that busy,” Kennedy said.

Construction of the structure will permanently eliminate three parking spaces, as the tent had done on a temporary basis, but city officials said there is still adequate parking to meet city requirements when on-street and nearby adjacent spaces are taken into consideration.

Mayor Louis Theros asked Kennedy to speak with the owner of neighboring Mr. C’s Deli about sharing parking with the store. Kennedy agreed to this.

“Between him and I, we’ve always had kind of a shared parking situation,” Kennedy said.

Public Safety Director John Hutchins said the plan offers adequate space for emergency vehicle access.

“It was presented to us, and it looks pretty good,” Hutchins said.

City Councilman John Gillooly called Irish Coffee “a very good business.” He said he was in support of the proposal.

“The alleys are always extremely clean,” Gillooly said. “They keep the premises clean.”

As part of the council’s approval, the restaurant agreed to turn music off and close the outdoor area at 11 p.m. when school is in session. The restaurant’s back parking lot abuts a residential area.

Following the council’s approval, Kennedy said they hoped to start construction immediately on the outdoor seating area.