Gulf Drive Café expansion approved

Gulf Drive Café expansion approved
The Gulf Drive Café in Bradenton Beach will soon be expanding. - Joe Hendricks | Sun

BRADENTON BEACH – Gulf Drive Café owners Wendy and George Kokolis have the city’s approval to expand their beachfront business operations.

On Thursday, Aug. 15, the city commission unanimously approved the Kokolis’ request to add 86 seats, 887 square feet of covered dining area, expand the existing kitchen area by 446 square feet and add 886 square feet of second-story storage space.

The additional seating is allowed because of changes made to the city’s land development code in 2016. The old code required one parking space for every three seats, plus one parking space for every two employees during the establishment’s largest shift. The current code requires one parking space for every four seats, plus one parking space for every two employees during the largest shift.

The Gulf Drive Café’s revised seating capacity is capped at 300 seats and that applies during weddings and other special events.

Representing the Kokolis family, architect Bob Gause said improvements also will be made to the dumpster area at the north end of the property, and the south end of the beachfront property will no longer be used for overflow parking.

The Kokolis’ will also work with the city and the Florida Department of Transportation to make stormwater improvements, crosswalk improvements and handicapped parking improvements that require city property, state property and some of the Kokolis’ property, he said.