Bodega Taco Bar’s wish for a fire pit doused, temporarily
DARIEN — Diners may enjoy their tacos by the warmth of a fire this summer provided the town gives approval for the request.
Bodega Taco Bar on the Post Road wants to add a fire pit to an outdoor seating area utilized under license from the town, but they first need approval from the Board of Selectmen, not all of whom are sold on the safety of the pit.
“We have a little bit of a general concern given the proximity of this proposed fire pit is, in fact, not directly behind bodega. It’s actually directly behind Upper Crust Bagel Shop, which is typically closed during the hours that this fire pit will be used,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said. “So there will not be any sort-of regular, direct supervision of the fire pit.”
Fire Marshal Robert Buch inspected the premises and wrote a list of restrictions before giving his approval to the Taco Bar. Buch required the pit remain 15 feet from all structures, only staff start the fire, kindling — never accelerants — be used to start the fire, and an extinguisher must be provided outdoors at all times the fire pit is in use.
He added that the fire pit must always be attended, a request Stevenson worried would be difficult for the restaurant to fulfill.
“You will have customers outside. Are you assuming that your customers are attending the fire? Your servers are not going to be standing there attending the fire, so it’s a nuance, but I think it’s an important nuance,” Stevenson said.
Stevenson also noted that adjacent to where the pit is proposed is a garbage can. She said she’d like to see a stipulation that required ashes to be stored in a metal can with a lid away from combustibles but worried ashes would find their way into the dump.
“It seems trivial, but it’s got potential for trouble,” Selectman Rob Richards agreed. “And I love a good fire pit.”
The motion was tabled and Planning and Zoning will be asked for a memo on the pit’s restrictions and proof of insurance from Bodega’s insurance company.