Garrett’s bar and grill in Shawnee building new outdoor seating to weather COVID-19 pandemic

Garrett's, a bar and grill on Nieman Road in Shawnee, is planning to build outdoor seating on the western side of the building.

Garrett’s, a bar and grill in Shawnee, is planning to build a new outdoor seating area to accommodate social distancing requirements and improve customer experience.

“As we are navigating our business through this pandemic, it has become very apparent that we need additional seating available to help socially distance our customers allowing them to feel safe and comfortable,” the owners wrote in a letter to the Shawnee Planning Commission.

The outdoor seating is designed to offer customers additional seating that meets social distancing requirements while also serving as an improvement to the property, according to city documents. The proposed seating area is about 1,900 square feet and will have a composite deck base, a 6-foot tall screening wall, accessible entry from the north, planters and a trash enclosure, according to city documents.

Here is a design rendering of the plan:

The planning commission on Monday voted 10-0 to approve the restaurant’s plans. Commissioner Randy Braley was absent.

Located at 6505 Nieman Road, Garrett’s opened in April 2012. 

“We are just down the road at 65th and Nieman and have been admiring the improvements the city has made from Shawnee Mission Parkway to Johnson Drive on Nieman,” the owners wrote. “Those improvements as well as being in the middle of a pandemic has inspired us to want better for our business and our community.”

The owners reported they shut down Garrett’s for five weeks due to the pandemic. The new outdoor seating would to allow them to serve more customers in a safe manner during COVID-19.

“We are left with the constant fear of anyone on our staff catching covid-19 and shutting down like many other bars have already had happen,” the owners wrote. “We are taking as many precautions as we possibly can, but we are afraid we will not be able to survive without additional outdoor seating to socially distance our customers.”

The restaurant has some outdoor seating on the west side of the building. The old seating area is often in the afternoon sunlight and doesn’t offer a place for customers seeking shade on hot days, so the restaurant owners would discontinue its use after the new seating is built.