Deno's Mountain Bistro in downtown Winter Park was awarded a $19,443 enhancement grant to remodel its patio area in front of the building along the sidewalk.
By a unanimous vote of the Winter Park Town Council Tuesday night, May 1, Deno's will begin construction of new fencing around the perimeter of the patio with metal planters and benches made from rusted metal and weathered Wyoming snow fence. Landscaped planter boxes, made from rusted metal and weathered wood will decorate the top of the fencing as part of the design enhancement. A gas fireplace will be placed in the southeast corner of the patio and the northeast corner of the patio will be landscaped with aspen trees.
The total project cost is $38,885, and Deno's will receive 50 percent payment after construction is completed as part of the Winter Park Commercial Enhancement Grant Program, which funds $20,000 each year for Winter Park businesses.
"The improvements proposed by Deno's will enhance the overall structure and provide a modern streetscape for the downtown," said Winter Park staff, in a memo to the board. "The patio will provide visual enhancement to areas viewed by large numbers of people and is in compliance with the spirit of the Winter Park Design Regulations and Guidelines."
The grant program is offered to commercial businesses to improve traffic flow, pedestrian accessibility, beautification, design, and use. The process for financial assistance starts with business owners completing an application. Once the project is approved by the planning and zoning commission, final approval is decided by a vote of the Winter Park Town Council.
Construction on the patio upgrades will start next week, said Winter Park Town Planner James Shockey. They will still need to apply for building permits, he said.
Winter Park icon
Deno Kutrumbos and his two sons, Ted and Nick, own and manage Deno's Mountain Bistro. Deno purchased the restaurant in 1976, and his sons were born and raised in Winter Park. After graduating from University of Colorado, Ted worked in Silicon Valley for four years before returning to Winter Park and the family restaurant. Nick graduated from University of Denver then came back to Winter Park to partner with his father and brother at Deno's.
"We have been talking since last year about applying for the enhancement grant but missed the deadline," said Ted.
"Three months ago we sat down with Scott and Tim from Munn Architecture and went over what we wanted to do," he said.
The main goal was to utilize the patio for customers to sit outside and take advantage of the light, Ted said.
Once the fire pit is installed, he hopes people will be able to "hang out on the patio in winter months."
Construction should be completed by mid-June.
Design and Concept
Munn Architecture in Granby designed the patio upgrades for Deno's Mountain Bistro.
"We were retained to look at ideas and concepts for the interior and exterior," said Scott Munn, owner of Munn Architecture. "Tim Hodsdon was the main designer of the patio and came up with the concepts of using Wyoming snow fence and rusted metal panels," he said.
Contrasting the soft earthy material of reclaimed wood with the harder metal brings new life into the material and the building, he said.
"The concept was to give a new look to a Winter Park icon. We wanted to use re-purposed metal and wood as the overall theme for the transformation."
Using the rustic materials in a contemporary situation was an effort to move the building toward the future and complement the rest of the town of Winter Park. And, to hopefully start a precedence, Munn said.
Other program beneficiaries
Two other commercial enhancement projects have been granted by the town this year. Adolph's building improvements included accent lighting and landscaping outside the building. The Smokehouse grant allowed for landscaping between the sidewalk and parking lot, planner Shockey said.
Winter Park has awarded 30 grants to businesses in the downtown since 2000 when the Winter Park Commercial Enhancement Grant Program was established to fund beautification projects by local organizations or businesses. Grants are reviewed twice a year in spring and fall, deadlines are March 1 and October 1.
"The enhancement grants are a great thing," Ted Kutrumbos said. "People should really take advantage of them, especially small business. We didn't really know what to expect when we applied. This remodel is a major project and the town of Winter Park was so helpful."
Kristen Lodge can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.