Business is booming at the Hotel Hickman Chuck Wagon BBQ and that means it’s time to grow.
Owner Scott Thomas appeared at the Dexter Planning Commission Nov. 2 for a public hearing on his application for a special land use permit to build an open-air pavilion on land adjacent to the eatery. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended the idea to the City Council.
Hotel Hickman, 8054 Main St., has also entered into a purchase agreement to acquire the former Dexter Flowers building, 8050 Main St., and will use that space for dining and retail for the business’s sauces.
The pavilion will measure 19.88 feet by 17. 25 feet and occupy 541.73 square feet. It will be 14 feet high and offer cover for diners looking for a break from the sun. The purpose of outdoor seating is to create extra space for restaurants and give people a place to relax and take in the community.
The pavilion overhang has a 1-foot encroachment on the city owned property where the restaurant sits. The city will need to provide an easement, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol.
The business does not serve alcohol. If the business ever did secure an liquor license, it would have build an enclosure around the pavilion, Aniol said. But that is not likely to happen, Thomas said.
“We are not even considering beer or liquor, we are in the barbecue business,” Thomas said.
The outdoor seating is allowed under Section 15(A).03. The property is part of the Commercial Business District.
The business used a tent during Dexter Daze which proved popular with patrons. The owners decided to check out if a more permanent arrangement would make sense.
The diner has limited seating inside the business, so a new area is the next logical step. The owners have no interest in leaving their present location.
“We plan to stay in the business as long as the city wants us,” Thomas said.