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posted: 4/16/2014 1:01 AM

Des Plaines hopes to improve outdoor dining experience downtown

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Downtown Des Plaines restaurants that offer al fresco dining could soon have a consistent look to their outdoor spaces with the installation of decorative metal fencing.

The city council next Monday will consider buying metal railings and planters for restaurants within the downtown tax increment financing district that would designate each restaurant's outdoor dining space.

The metal railings, which would mirror design elements of other downtown streetscape such as benches and trash receptacles, would be installed outside businesses that have outdoor dining. A majority of the eight downtown restaurants have expressed interest in outdoor dining permits, city officials said.

The council will consider approving a contract with Des Plaines-based JB Metal Works to fabricate the railings at a price of $540 for each single railing and $1,080 for each planter railing.

The city would maintain ownership of the railings, and would pay for them by using TIF funds.

The council previously rejected purchasing tables and chairs for restaurants, instead deciding each restaurant should bear those costs.

Steve Burval, owner of JB Metal Works, told aldermen last week that the railings will undergo a standard finishing process that includes sandblasting, priming and power coating. The railings typically last up to 10 years.

Burval said the railings could be ready by the first week in June.

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