CAPE ELIZABETH — Restaurants in town now have the ability to serve more customers.
The Town Council on Monday held a public hearing on the number of seats permitted in a restaurant in the Business A District. After no one from the public wished to comment, councilors amended the zoning ordinance and increased the number of allowed seats from 80 to 100.
The ordinance change comes after a Planning Board meeting in May where the board recommended increasing the number of permitted seats. The zoning amendment was first requested last summer by Lisa Kostopoulos, owner of The Good Table restaurant.
Kostopoulos had been found in violation of the zoning ordinance after Mary Otulakowski, former owner of nearby Rudy’s on the Cape, complained to Code Enforcement Officer Ben McDougal. Kostopoulos reduced the number of seats in her Ocean House Road restaurant to comply with the ordinance, while waiting for it to be changed.
The ordinance change will go into effect 30 days after the council meeting, which means restaurant owners can accommodate more patrons starting Aug. 12.
With renovations continuing, Rudy’s, now owned by Paul Woods, may not be open by the time the change takes place. The restaurant’s website said it is expected to open this summer, but its Facebook page recently said it should be open by fall.
When it finally does reopen, Rudy’s won’t only have the chance to serve more customers; the diner will also be able to serve alcoholic beverages to its patrons, after the council on Monday approved Rudy’s application for a malt, spirituous and vinous liquor license.