The outdoor bar and restaurant that has been in the middle of the Hyman Avenue mall for the past two summers will be expanded to accommodate two establishments, the city’s Commercial Core and Lodging Commission decided Wednesday.
The entire seating area will be 90 feet long, and will be occupied by Finbarr’s Irish Pub and Escobar, both of which have indoor spaces on the mall to the south and north, respectively. Each establishment will have roughly 45 seats in a 12-by-46-square-foot space side by side.
Last summer, the designated area was smaller and featured Escobar, which shared the space with the now-defunct Parallel 15 coffee shop.
The mall is owned by the city and technically doesn’t allow an outdoor bar in the middle of it, but that was amended a few years ago to try the experiment, said Kathy Strickland, the city’s chief deputy clerk.
The first year proved a bit challenging with the former Mustang bar and restaurant but the kinks were worked out last summer, Strickland said.
The designated space is approved for 122 days, and proprietors from both establishments said they are not certain exactly when they will open but it will be weather dependent.
Ryan Chadwick, co-owner of Escobar, said he plans to open in mid-May. Last summer, he had 50 seats. He plans to serve lobster rolls and bratwurst, and have a full bar.
Chadwick said he welcomes Finbarr’s into the mix.
“The more the merrier,” he said, adding that the outdoor space contributes to the mall’s vitality.
Strickland said the operation can go from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Both establishments will pay a fee of $3.78 a day, or $461 for the season, based on square footage calculations.
Sammy Sandall, bar manager of Finbarr’s, said his team hasn’t finalized their plans for the outdoor space but will offer a full bar menu and bar.