Paul Weckman & Emily Wolff
Restaurant ownersConvington, Kentucky
Trees Bring People Downtown to Shop and Dine
When Paul Weckman and Emily Wolff opened Otto's restaurant, they selected downtown Covington because they value the historical significance of its 1850s structures. But something was missing.
"The neighborhood didn't seem complete without trees," Paul says. To do their part in restoring trees to the business district, the owners of Otto's and a neighboring restaurant entered a partnership with the city. The resulting project transformed four parking spaces into a new outdoor dining area with trees.
The cost of the project was split 50/50 between the city and the businesses, and the newly designed spaces proved seating for 25 additional customers and changed the ambiance of the street. City officials work with business owners to enhance the customer experience throughout the area.
"These trees created a desirable outdoor dining area and increased overall traffic," says Paul. "Significantly more people are visiting the area for dining, shopping and strolling."
Were it not for this innovative private/public partnership, this historic business district would have missed out on increased vibrancy and people.
"We tell our staff that our restaurant should look like a beautiful painting," Paul adds. "Trees make that possible."