By Matt Clevenger
For Miami Valley Today
TIPP CITY — Coldwater Café and the Tipp City Public Library held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday, May 1, unveiling a new shared patio area that will be open to library patrons as well as customers from the restaurant.
Located in the alley between Coldwater Café and the library, the new patio area is designed to attract more traffic to the downtown area. “All the members of council were delighted at this idea,” Mayor Joe Gibson said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We’re very excited at the prospect of having people come to Tipp City, come to downtown to eat, to read, to chill and to meet friends. We hope this is a continuing success story.”
Library patrons will be able to access the patio through gates on the north and south sides, or through a separate side door that leads directly into the library. Coldwater Café will also serve customers on the new patio during normal business hours, weather permitting. The restaurant recently installed a new side door, and also plans to close its existing upstairs patio, which has been in operation for approximately six or seven years.
“We had the patio upstairs,” Coldwater Café owner Nick Hoover said. “Logistically, it was a nightmare because it was upstairs and it was just really hot. The biggest thing was just getting the food up there.”
The idea for the new patio came up by chance one night, while Hoover was talking with Tipp City Library director Lisa Santucci. “Nick and I were standing in the alley and I was coming to talk to him about the possibility of putting a mural outside and painting, if it would be ok,” Santucci said. “We both were sort of like ‘it would be nice if we could sit out here and eat.’”
“The city manager was onboard quickly,” she said, “It solved a problem for them. They had complaints about traffic and trucks exiting here, where it’s a main thoroughfare.”
The patio area took about one year to complete, including the planning stages and actual construction. “It took almost one full year,” Santucci said, noting that the patio required a special liquor permit. It is the first outdoor permit of its kind issued in Tipp City.
Most of the funding to pay for the patio project came from grants. “We got a grant from the Teen Leadership Academy,” Santucci said. “They paid for the outdoor furniture; that was all grant-funded.”
The library plans to seek more grant funding for improvements to the patio area, including the possible addition of heaters for use in the fall and winter, and has already started scheduling events to be held there.
On Thursday, June 13 the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce and the Tipp Foundation will host an after-hours event on the patio, and this summer the library will also hold a series of special outdoor concerts there.
“In coordination with Coldwater, we got a grant to pay four different bands to come up and play in the evenings,” Santucci said.