Community Board 5 last Wednesday unanimously approved the plan for a sidewalk cafe at Joe and John’s Pizzeria in Ridgewood, the first of its kind for the area.
Attorney Michael Kelly, representing the Myrtle Avenue eatery, said the unenclosed addition would feature 20 tables and 43 seats across three rows, and occupy approximately 7 feet of space from the front of the pizzeria, leaving about 10 feet for sidewalk traffic on the bustling strip. Nothing in the plans, which have been submitted to the Department of Consumer Affairs, calls for any sort of canopy or table umbrellas. The pizza shop’s business hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The thumbs-up from the board came with a proviso, suggested by member Paul Kerzner, that the owner of Joe and John’s plant two street trees in front of the establishment. Still, many voiced their support for the plan.
“This would be the first sidewalk cafe — probably the first of many,” Chairman Vincent Arcuri Jr. said.
Ted Renz, executive director of the Myrtle Avenue Business Improvement District, said its executive board unanimously approved the addition.
“It’s part of a long-range strategy to bring nightlife to the avenue and bring some sort of ambience,” he noted at the meeting.
“It’s a real way to improve that strip by having a destination,” said Michael Hetzer, board member and vice president of Citizens for a Better Ridgewood.
With the board’s approval, the cafe plan, which calls for a two-year renewable license, awaits a green light from the city.