Historic Preservation Commission approves patio, fence for outdoor dining at Sweet Meadow Café

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2021

By Natalie Anderson
natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday approved an application from Sweet Meadow Café to install and utilize an outside patio deck and privacy fence behind the restaurant located on Fisher Street.

The commission granted a certificate of appropriateness, which declares adherence to local historic district guidelines, for the patio and fence. The wooden patio measures 576 square feet and is surrounded by a wooden privacy fence located within an alley and parking area owned by Wallace Realty Co. Additionally, solar-powered festoon lights, or garland lights with big bulbs, line the walls of the patio and look similar to those currently hanging along Fisher Street.

City Planner Hannah Jacobson said the proposal was an “after-the-fact” request since the patio and fence have already been constructed.

The request was approved with conditions. The proposal at Thursday’s meeting indicated that the fence measured 24 feet by 24 feet and 20 feet tall, but the maximum height allowed for fences in the historic district is 6 feet. Sweet Meadow Café owner Heather Teeter told the Post that the height of the fence currently measures 6 feet.

Another condition with the approval was that if any additional stairs are needed to access the patio, they must be wooden.

The outdoor patio and fence were “born out of necessity during a time of panic,” Teeter said during the meeting. She told the Post that having it will help the café’s “overall bottom line,” especially since the restaurant must continue operating at 50% capacity inside at this time. For Sweet Meadow, that’s a reduction of eight tables inside the restaurant.

But the patio currently has four tables, which allows for up to 16 customers. Teeter plans to add another table with enough room to continue socially distancing.

Teeter sees the patio as “a blessing and far safer,” and something that can be built upon. She added that the patio has led to more customers dining at the restaurant.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.