Gulfport City Council approved an outdoor dining request for a local restaurant, voting at its April 18 meeting.
Council approved a site plan amendment request to add seating within the patio area directly in front of The Pearl, at the corner of 58th Street South and 28th Avenue South. Photos of social media indicated that the restaurant’s management put the tables and chairs in place for use the next day.
Outdoor dining has always been popular in Gulfport due to the favorable weather nearly all year long, but the concept expanded dramatically in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. City officials approved outdoor dining at that time because of severe restrictions on indoor capacity.
The restaurant proposed adding 46 seats outside on the patio area to complement the 92 seats currently available indoors, according to a city staff report. The expansion would result in 14 employees, the report indicated.
The Site Plan Review Committee expressed some concerns in January when reviewing the project. That body suggested that a barrier be erected to enclose the area where alcohol is served, and also that a gate be installed for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. The applicants revised their submission and the SPRC recommended approval in February.
A condition of Council approval was the completion of the business tax receipt renewal process to include the outdoor seating use.
The Pearl opened in Gulfport in mid-October of last year after operating in Treasure Island for more than two decades.
Click here to watch video from this or any other City Council meeting. Read our review of The Pearl.