Stillwater Might Get 1st Rooftop Deck, But Some Are Cautious

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Downtown Stillwater could get its first rooftop deck if a local business owner has his way; but a battle is brewing over the plans for it.

The deck would sit atop of Rafters Food and Spirits. Right now, the bar doesn’t have a patio or deck, like many other bars and restaurants in town. These places, however, have the potential to offer fantastic views of the St. Croix River.

Rafters owner Larry Cramer says the beauty of the St. Croix River Valley is impossible to duplicate. Unfortunately, he has no way for his customers to see it.

To rectify that, Cramer put together a plan to build a deck.

“For us, in order to have a summer restaurant business, we need to have an outdoor venue,” he said.

But there is opposition to how the deck might work. Patrick Anderson, another Stillwater businessman, wants to make sure the deck is safe and secure for other businesses. ”
“We need to be very careful about how this is executed,” he said. “That’s our issue.”

Anderson is concerned that people will throw things from the rooftops, plug up drains, cause a roof collapse, or, possibly, a fire.

“We need extra controls to be sure that the security of the neighboring roofs is maintained,” he said.

Cramer’s original deck plan was supposed to seat 100 people. That has since been scaled back to 48.

“I’ve downsized to meet the needs of some people who’ve expressed some concerns,” Cramer said. “We’ll never have anybody up here without staff up here, so it’s not like people, teenagers are going to come up here and be unsupervised.”

The city government will likely make a deck plan decision in May or June.

Cramer hopes to open his deck on Aug. 1 if the decision goes his way.

“It’s a beautiful place,” he said. “I hope we get to share it with everyone else.”


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