Andrea Hoover remembers the conversation she had last spring with her husband, Nick Hoover, while the couple were standing in an alley next to the restaurant they own, Coldwater Cafe in Tipp City.
In the middle of a chat about a meal, Nick Hoover looked around the alleyway and said to his wife, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could just sit out here?”
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“It just blossomed from there,” Andrea Hoover said.
The project had to navigate several regulatory hoops, but now, a year later, the Coldwater Cafe is poised to add patio seating in the alley that separates the restaurant from its neighbor, the Tipp City Public Library. The library jumped on board with the plans and will utilize the space itself when it’s not being used to serve diners, according to library director Lisa Santucci.
The patio evolved into a joint venture between the restaurant and the library, and Santucci and Coldwater Cafe’s owners are brainstorming the kinds of library-related events that could be held there.
The 2,000-square-foot patio doesn’t have a fancy name. “We want to just call it, ‘The Alley,’” Santucci said.
Seating capacity for the patio hasn’t been determined, and it will operate each year from April through October, protected at both ends by removable iron gates. Those gates will be removed between November and March.
The Alley is a trial run of sorts, Andrea Hoover said. The city has leased the space for three years.
Coldwater Cafe, located at 19 E. Main St., previously operated a small upstairs patio, but that space didn’t open last year and will be used for other purposes, Hoover said.