By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) – As the City of Denver begins to approve expanded patio space for businesses, some are worried the slow process could continue to hurt business. On Wednesday, the city said it had approved the first request for an expanded patio, but more than 400 applications have been submitted.

(credit: CBS)

“If there’s anything we’ve learned how to do in the last few months, it’s pivot quickly. We’re going to open tomorrow with limited seating in our patio and outside and we’re currently working with the city to expand our patio to the north of our building,” said Patrick Crawford, co-founder of Denver Beer Company.

On Wednesday, the phone wouldn’t stop ringing at DBC’s location on Platte Street with people asking if the location had opened to in-person service. With guidelines in place, the capacity will be less than half what business used to be. The brewery is hoping the city will help the business with a small strip of land that is actually owned by the city but connected to the DBC location.

(credit: CBS)

“This is property we thought was ours when we signed the lease but turns out the city of Denver actually owns everything from this crack over to the North. We’re in the process of trying to get patio set up out here to expand our beer garden. It’s taking a little bit longer than we wanted it to,” Crawford said.

Denver said it has received 417 applications for expanded patios, that’s about two years’ worth of application volume received in just a week. Each application requires a site visit from a city employee.

“As soon as we can we’ll set up some temporary fencing and some nice tables out here. In the long term we hope to get a tree planted and some real fence and make it look real cool,” Crawford said.

Many businesses say they need the space to make enough money to open their doors. It’s unknown how long it will take to process all of the applications.

“After laying out the tables today we realized our capacity is going to be way less than we thought,” Crawford said. “That extra space is going to make all the difference in us maintaining our business.”

Jeff Todd