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On-street dining could come to historic street in St. Augustine

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A plan to completely revamp a short section of road in the nation’s oldest city is up for discussion among city leaders.

The plan would include redesigning a stretch of Cuna Street to include on-street dining as part of a restaurant. Cuna Street is along one of the main roads in St. Augustine, across from the Castillo de San Marcos.

With its cobblestone road and quaint charm, there’s a lot to enjoy about Cuna Street, across from the fort. There are many reasons why Josh Haltam is drawn to this area.

“We just like that we can walk down here and kind of strut down there in leisure,” Haltam said. “It’s a peaceful place.”

However, not all of Cuna St. is cobblestone with a pretty view.

If a plan to team up with the city goes through, a 200-foot slice of Cuna will change dramatically. Renderings reveal a restaurant complete with room for outdoor dining. Street lights, brick paving, plus a sidewalk and overhead lighting would be added.

The idea is coming from local businessman, John Arbizzani. Jeremy Marquis is president of Marquis Latimer & Halback Inc., one of the firms handling the plans to revamp. He says the idea is to not only make the area more beautiful but also safer for pedestrians. He also says this is a win-win for the city, tourists, and other businesses.

“It’s a win for the restaurant tour. In terms of it is going to be a very vibrant front door to their establishment,” Marquis said. “I think this is just going to be an overall very positive project.”

On-street dining would be available from 10 in the morning until after midnight. Then the area would be used as a loading zone from 2:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

City leaders have already talked about the plans, with more discussions on the horizon. Josh Haltam lives in St. Augustine and is up for the idea. He says he’s heard others talking about it on social media.

“Of course there are mixed feelings. Some people, you know, ‘more people, no way’,” Haltam said. “But, I am open to the culture and the restaurants. And lifestyle.”

Jeremy Marquis said the city will be revisiting this plan at the next commission meeting, scheduled for July 8th.


About the Authors:

Ashley Harding

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.