Last outdoor dining tent in one Bucks County town could soon be gone

Beccah Hendrickson Image
Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Last outdoor dining tent in one Bucks County town could soon be gone
The township has not given a deadline for when the tent needs to come down. Kevin Glasson says he filed paperwork with the zoning board to make the tent permanent.

MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The last outdoor dining tent in one Bucks County municipality could soon be gone unless the bar's owners can convince officials otherwise.

Sandy's Beef and Ale in Middletown Township first set up a tent in its parking lot at the start of the pandemic, when the township passed a resolution to allow restaurants to do so. That resolution has since expired and the township says it has gotten complaints that the tent is still there.

"I wish we were in a different location where if we had more property, we could build outdoor seating," said Kevin Glasson, one of the bar's owners.

"It really helped us get through tough times," he said of the tent. "Our customers here came in for takeout. It was tremendous, but obviously, it wasn't enough to keep the business going. And when we were able to do this, it was tremendous. I mean, this tent was packed every day."

It's been more than two years since then.

"It's really the last tent we're aware of in the community so they are technically in violation of the zoning ordinance at this point," said Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, the township manager.

She says the complaints the township has received are about the tent's location.

"The parking, primarily the parking because this is a tent in front of a strip shopping center," she said.

The bar is in Woodbourne Square and the tent is taking up six spaces in the lot. Glasson says no one has approached him with an issue.

"That's what I hear. I'm not really privy to who complained or what the complaints were," he said.

Glasson says he has an outdoor liquor license for the bar so he'd like to keep the tent around. He says he's working with the township to do that by the book.

"We had to do what the township requires, just like any business," he said.

The township has not given a deadline for when the tent needs to come down. Glasson says he filed paperwork with the zoning board to make the tent permanent.