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You Told Us: Are There Too Many Sidewalk Cafes in Astoria?

 The sidewalk seating at Ovelia, 34-01 30th Ave. in Astoria.
The sidewalk seating at Ovelia, 34-01 30th Ave. in Astoria.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

You Told Us is a regular feature where we highlight comments from users in the communities DNAinfo covers.

DITMARS — When a local eatery came before Community Board 1 last week seeking a sidewalk cafe permit, it was met with resistance from some neighbors who argued there are already too many outdoor eateries in the neighborhood.

The incident spurred a debate that Astoria residents have had before — between those who see the al fresco restaurants as a local attraction, and those who think tables and chairs are taking over sidewalks and bringing noisy crowds.

"I've noticed that some of the restaurants are taking up 2/3 of the public sidewalk with their tables," one DNAinfo reader wrote in in response to last week's story about The Pomeroy's bid to add outdoor tables.

"In addition, they’re allowing their patrons to bring dogs," the reader wrote. "Passers-by end up with very little of the sidewalk for walking."

Other readers, however, said they think the outdoor cafes are part of Astoria's charm and spirit.

"This isn't a New Astoria issue—most sidewalk restaurants are old school Greek ones—and it's exactly what gives Astoria character," food writer Max Falkowitz wrote on Twitter. "The existence of sidewalk cafes is one of the reasons WHY restaurants set up in Astoria. This is the best thing about the local economy."

Another reader on Neighborhood Square agreed that the outdoor eateries are a boon, not a burden.

"Who cares what these people think. There is plenty of room for everyone. The sidewalk area of Ditmars has never been nicer," WoodsideYay wrote.

Some readers weighed in to say the problem seems specific to only certain commercial corridors in Astoria, like 30th Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard.

"i think it's only an issue with places like avenue on 30th ave - rude patrons, clueless staff, not enuf space," @taraasaurusrex said on Twitter, while another user said it wasn't an issue on Broadway, 31st or 34th avenues.

By Monday afternoon, a Twitter poll on the issue saw a majority (79 percent) of the 14 votes so far in favor of sidewalk cafes. 

What do you think? Let us know in Neighborhood Square.