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Plymouth to Allow Businesses to Test-Drive Valet Parking

Compari's and Panache have been allowed a 90-day trial period for valet services.

Downtown's might be alleviated this winter when /Fiamma Grille and Panache each test-drives valet parking services for customers, but the city's inventory of free parking could take a hit.

The City Commission approved valet parking for both businesses Monday during its regular meeting. Both businesses also require approval from Plymouth's Downtown Development Authority, from which Panache already received the OK. Compari's will seek DDA approval before it begins the service. Both businesses will test-drive the valet service for 90 days.

Bob Kolo, owner of Panache, said he would charge $3-$4 per car and utilize private space owned by property owner Denny Pennington in the Westchester Square area near Forest Avenue, where his business will operate. The valet's operation will occupy six currently free public spaces along Forest Avenue.

Panache is expected to open in December, utilizing the former 1999 Tavern space at 447 Forest Ave.

Frank Yaquinto, owner of Compari's and Fiamma, will open his valet service to patrons of other downtown businesses. His operation will use five public spaces along South Main Street in front of his two restaurants, along with The Sardine Room, a restaurant attached to his other two businesses, which he is in the process of building.

While the City Commission weighed the long-term impact of valet parking and how it could expand, Mayor Dan Dwyer said he is interested primarily in seeing how the 90-day test run works out.

"I just want to get through these 90 days," he said. "It's a change to this community, to have a private business park cars. If it’s well-received and successful for the residents, for the business owners, we can have grand conversations on how to make it bigger and better."

The City Commission voted 5-2 for each business, with Commissioners Gerald Sabatini and Diane Bogenrieder casting the dissenting votes.

Cathy Donaldson November 22, 2011 at 04:39 PM
I do not think a few businesses should be allowed to use public parking spaces for their private use when there is already a shortage of parking. If they are using private space that other people could not use anyway...then that would be alright.
John McKay November 22, 2011 at 04:59 PM
It looks like they are eliminating 5 spaces along Main Street and six along Forest, but patrons' cars would be parked offsite in otherwise private lots. It's a question of whether it's worth giving up the streetside parking. What's the greater good? It all depends on if the business takes off. Compari's/Fiamma's valet, however, would allow patrons of any downtown business to use the service.
Sean Zayas February 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I think it's wrong to tie up publicly-funded spots to benefit two restaurants. We pay to maintain those parking spots.
Ron Schram February 07, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I agree that these public parking spaces should be just for that "the public" Every entrepreneur should desere the same and that can't happen. People who come to Plymouth know they will be walking to their destination and yes this does increase their chances to see all of the other fine merchants of Plymouth. Keep the parking spaces for all customers and not just a select few. Ron Schram "downtownschram"

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