After a successful trial run in 2020, 2nd and Lawler Co. will be bringing back its outdoor eating feature following Mitchell City Council’s approval.

The toy store and eating establishment was given the green light on Monday to construct an 8-by-24-outdoor eating area along the sidewalk of East Second Avenue in front of the business. For the outdoor deck to be constructed again, there will be a temporary parking closure for a few spots along East Second Avenue.

While the council approved the downtown store’s request to build the outdoor feature for the summer and fall months last year, it came up against some critics from residents who were concerned the feature would cause crashes on the Second Avenue and Lawler Street intersection.

However, city officials said there were no crashes at the intersection resulting from the bump out deck throughout the duration it was up in 2020.

“We did get some gripe last year on social media, but we didn’t have any accidents on the corner,” said Jeremy Gunkel, owner of 2nd and Lawler Co. “If there are any emergency issues that come up, it takes about 10 minutes for it to be torn down.”

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The city is requiring reflective tape to be placed on the deck for vehicles to clearly see the deck in the evening hours to avoid a crash.

Considering the popularity of the feature last year, Gunkel, owner of 2nd and Lawler Co., said it was a no brainer to bring it back for the summer and fall. The outdoor feature will be up from May 4 to Oct. 15, 2021.

“It was really well perceived, and we had a lot of people who use it,” Gunkel said.

According to Public Works Director Kyle Croce, the deck area will not impede the stormwater drainage and pedestrian access to the sidewalk. To comply with American Disabilities Act (ADA), the outdoor eating area will have a slope for wheelchair access.

Gunkel encouraged other businesses to take advantage of their outdoor space and offer similar features.

“I’d honestly like to see more businesses do it. It adds a really nice little feature for customers,” Gunkel said.

Tim Smith honored with broadcast booth naming

Although Tim Smith’s career as a local sports broadcaster has come to an end, the city of Mitchell is helping his name live on in the confines of the Corn Palace broadcast booth.

After 47 years of broadcasting Mitchell sports in the southwest corner of the Corn Palace, Smith’s name will be plastered on it for the next decade following the Mitchell City Council’s approval on Monday night. While Smith has earned numerous awards for his talent behind the microphone, it was time he received a civic honor from the city he’s called home for over four decades. Smith recently announced he will be retiring from his role as a sports broadcaster at one of Mitchell’s radio stations.

For Council President Kevin McCardle, naming the booth after the sports broadcasting legend was a “no brainer.”

“I think this is a really neat tribute to Tim (Smith) and what he has done for athletics. He has also been involved in many organizations outside of athletics,” said council member Jeff Smith.

Corn Palace Director Doug Greenway said Smith’s name will be speckled on the booth from Nov. 1 to April 1, 2031, spanning a decade. He noted Smith’s family will be paying for the lettering, as well.

“This falls under the naming rights resolution, and we feel that ‘Section C: The individual made a significant contribution or had a significant role in enhancing the quality of life and well-being of the city and a majority of its residents,’” Greenway said.