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Vola’s Dockside Grill to make outdoor seating changes and acquire nearby bathrooms

Vola’s Dockside Grill is filing a permit to make its outdoor seating permanent, though the application also seemingly kills off any hope to see Riverside Taco return.

The application from Alexandria Restuarant Partners (ARP) includes details of a few changes at the area, including a proposal to take over management of some of the waterfront’s few public restrooms.

“Applicant currently holds two special use permits for these areas,” the application said. “First is for Vola’s Dockside Grill at 101 N. Union. [Second] is for 105 N Union, parcel 4B, for an Arts & Crafts market including ancillary food service at Riverside Taco Company.”

But the application said the dreams of an Alexandria waterfront taco truck were derailed by the pandemic and that space will likely be permanently converted to seating — its current use.

“During the pandemic, the applicant closed Riverside Taco and instead used the 4B parcel as a socially distanced seating area for Vola’s,” the applicant said. “Based on the above conditions, the applicant has determined the best use of the 4B parcel is to continue to use this area for Vola’s seating.”

The application also said that ARP could also take over some of the adjacent restrooms to ensure adequate public access.

“Similar to ARP’s arrangement with the City at Robinson Landing, the applicant is offering to take over management of the City-owned restrooms adjacent to the 4B parcel in order to ensure that there are adequate public facilities from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week,” the application said.

The application is scheduled for review at the Tuesday, Sept. 6 Planning Commission meeting.

The application comes as Vola’s neighbors will have to start filing permits to make their own outdoor seating arrangements permanent as the city moves to start enforcing sidewalk dining restrictions again in September.

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