City approves outdoor seating for the Beer Grotto

Dexter’s beer lovers will now be able to enjoy their craft brews and wines al fresco at The Beer Grotto.

The Dexter Planning Commission voted to approve the downtown business’s application to add outdoor seating. The Grotto’s plan calls for six new bistro-style tables on the sidewalk around the tree planter in front of the establishment at 8059 Main St. The tables would add 21 seats.

Aubree’s, Joe and Rosie’s and Dexter’s Pub all have outdoor seating downtown as well.

“It would not negatively impact or produce any incompatibility or excessive nuisance in the district,” Community Development Director Michelle Aniol said during the planning commission’s regular meeting Tuesday night.

The Beer Grotto’s General Manager Phil Blass said he believes the outdoor seating will help add to downtown Dexter’s draw.

“My goal was not only help our business but Dexter as a whole,” he said. “One more place where there’s people outside enjoying themselves during the nicer months I think will help.”

View a mock-up of the plan:
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Planning Commissioner Jack Donaldson expressed a concern about the visibility for people making a left turn onto Main Street from the parking lot shared by the Beer Grotto and Dairy Queen.

“Right now it’s even difficult to see eastbound traffic,” he said.

Donaldson supported the approval and urged the planning commission to discuss how to make the corner safer.

The Beer Grotto opened in July 2014 and serves craft beer and wine by the glass and to go. The Dexter location is the brand’s first and flagship pub. Locations in Ann Arbor and Lansing have since opened up.

The outdoor seating will operate weather permitting and won’t be available during the winter months. The approval passed unanimously.

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