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BridgeTender forced to halt outdoor expansion

By Mark Young, Islander Reporter

The BridgeTender Inn and Dockside Bar, 135 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, started to build a service area in its bayfront parking area, but that work has been halted by the city. Islander Photo: Mark Young

The BridgeTender Inn and Dockside Bar, 135 Bridge St., Bradenton Beach, has been issued a stop work order for unpermitted work to expand its outside seating capacity in its bayfront parking area.

According to Bradenton Beach building official Steve Gilbert, BridgeTender appropriately applied for an expansion of their outdoor dining area, “but jumped the gun” on its actual construction.

“What they wanted to do is allowable under the outdoor dining codes, but they built a bar, which is a structure and requires very specific items for approval,” he said. “It took awhile to get a site plan put in place and documented, but they jumped the gun with the service deck they were building.”

Gilbert said the work on Bay Boulevard has stopped and the city is attempting to work with the establishment to keep the service deck, but without the structure.

“They are going to have to modify what they have,” he said. “It can be something portable, because then you don’t have to deal with setback issues.”

Posts have already been placed in the ground, which designates it as a structure and a roof was being planned, which Gilbert said has brought the health department into the equation, as well.

“The health department has strict requirements about having a roof over those types of structures,” said Gilbert. “We are trying to get it figured out so they can have service folks there to take care of customers, but I wish they hadn’t put the structure up ahead of time.”

Gilbert said he is working with the owner, their planner, and their attorney to put in a site plan, “but I guess someone wasn’t aware of the fact they had to do that,” he said.

“A structure can’t be more than 3 feet above grade and you can’t put in posts before a design review,” he said. “Now they are talking about putting up a fabric canopy, but fabric then requires involvement from the fire marshal, and whatever they eventually do, has to meet wind-speed requirements as well.”

Gilbert said he doesn’t believe anything intentionally wrong was done, which is why the city will work with BridgeTender to come back into compliance with city and state codes.

“We are working on it,” he said.

One Response to BridgeTender forced to halt outdoor expansion

  1. Diana says:

    I would hate to see Bridge Tender have too many problems with this. They definiley need more space. It’s a great place to eat and drink outside. I always make it a point to go there when I go to the island (fla).

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