Watty & Meg Receives Community Support for Sidewalk Cafe on Court Street

By Nikhita Venugopal on June 24, 2014 5:45pm 

 Watty & Meg, located at 248 Court St. in Cobble Hill.
Watty & Meg, located at 248 Court St. in Cobble Hill.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

COBBLE HILL — A Cobble Hill restaurant was recently forced to apply for a new license to operate a sidewalk café — despite legally having served outdoor seats for years, owners said.

A Community Board 6 committee unanimously approved Watty & Meg’s application to serve food and drinks to four tables and 20 chairs outside its 248 Court St. restaurant Monday night.

The restaurant has served diners at its outdoor tables at the corner of Court and Kane streets for four years, owners said. However, it lost the right to continue the sidewalk café last December after city officials deemed that it required a license, said co-owner Kai Eric.

The original property lines, which included space outside the restaurant, allowed Watty & Meg to operate its sidewalk café without a license, he said. Two rows of single tables used to be lined up along the outside walls of the restaurant.

City investigators had previously OK’d the establishment because of supporting documents that proved legal use of the sidewalk space, Eric said. But officials eventually determined the restaurant needed an actual license.

The outdoor tables “provided a much appreciated service to our neighborhood,” Eric said at the CB6 permits and licenses meeting.

Since the outdoor seats were removed, Watty & Meg has seen an overall decrease in revenue from last year, Eric told DNAinfo New York, citing Mother's Day as an example.

While the restaurant saw increased business inside that day, Eric said the overall revenue was down $3,000 to $4,000 from the same day the previous year — which he attributes to the lack of outdoor space.

“We’ve seen a substantial drop,” he said.

Before the restaurant can reestablish its outdoor serving area, the application for the license will need approval from CB6's full board, the Department of Consumer Affairs and the City Council.

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