Rhino Coffee to add outdoor patio to its downtown location

Rhino Coffee to add outdoor space downtown

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A bustling coffee shop in Shreveport plans to construct a patio at its downtown location in hopes that it will draw more people to the area.

Rhino Coffee's plans include seating for about 20 people at a time.

"I think sometimes people spend about 80 percent of their day inside and want to be able to enjoy the weather and the outdoors," manager Andrew Crawford said.

"I think a lot of people either have dogs with them and can sit out on the patio and enjoy a cup of coffee."

Rhino Coffee's patio will feature eight or nine tables and include greenery to freshen up the feel of its downtown cafe.

Outdoor patios have the power to make a city more vibrant, Crawford said.

"We love the idea of having an outdoor space. Once you see more traffic downtown, once you see people all around downtown, it makes you feel like downtown is more alive."

Liz Swaine, executive director of Shreveport's Downtown Development Authority, said other downtown restaurants also are considering patios.

But potential patio locations must meet certain standards.

"The sidewalk has to be a certain width for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance purposes and safety," said Swaine.

"You have to have a certain look to your furniture; you can't just throw a couch out on the sidewalk and call it a sidewalk cafe."

Coordination between the city and the Downtown Development Authority finally has resulted in the approval of patio spaces, Swaine said.

"The city owns the sidewalks, so the question for years has been: How do you let someone else use city property? It took a while to figure it out."

Swaine said she's confident the added patio space will increase foot traffic in downtown Shreveport.

She hopes other restaurants follow suit.

"You see people sitting outside, they're raising a glass, eating a bite, having a good time, talking to their friends. That's where you want to be."

Crawford said Rhino Coffee's patio will be finished in the coming months.

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