If Sisyphus lived in Philadelphia, he wouldn’t be hauling a boulder up a mountain, he’d be trying to get permission for outdoor seating in Point Breeze.
Since last year, the American Sardine Bar’s owner, John Longacre, says he has been trying to secure a variance to bring five or six tables to a lot he owns adjacent to the restaurant, at 18th and Federal. As part of his design for the space, which he called “unrivaled in the city,” he envisions ringing a garden area with an ornate fence and paving the surface. But he has faced enough resistance to require him to appear before the Zoning Board of Adjustment for the second time on Feb. 27.
Back in November, South Philly H.O.M.E.S. voted in support of the project and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s office submitted a letter of non-opposition, the bureaucratic speak for “support.” When Longacre first appeared before the ZBA about two months ago, he presented his plans along with 200 signatures from neighbors.