Closed terraces will be banned in Palma from March 5.
There are 127 premises in the city that have closed terraces, or booths, including Calle Blanquerna, Calle Fábrica, Plaza Mayor, Calle Oms and Plaza d’España and most of them agree that the new rules will mean “less income, less customers and more layoffs.”
"Almost 100% of my clients are residents, and I don't think anyone is in favour of this new regulation, because people want to be in closed terraces in the winter months," says Antonio, who’s been running a bar in Calle Blanquerna for seven years and claims the new regulations will force him to lay off workers and slash 30% to 40% off his income.
“We only have seven tables inside, the rest are outside and if we remove the terraces people won’t want to wait for a table inside in winter, so we will lose customers,” says Carol, at a fast food restaurant in Plaza España. She points out that “the cold, the wind and the rain are the main reasons why the enclosed terraces or booths, are necessary.
"I know that there are stores that plan to close on Calle Blanquerna," laments Pere Crespí, who paid 5,000 euros to restructure his terrace with umbrellas.
The Ordinance does allow screens, windbreakers and umbrellas that are not anchored to the pavement, but critics say that’s pointless.
“If they are not anchored, there’s a risk that they’ll fly away, which has already happened on several occasions. This regulation does not make sense,” says Michele, who’s been in business for 20 years in Calle Fábrica, which is one of the streets most affected by the new regulations.
The bars and restaurants agreed with the Council an extension of 18 months so that they could replace the current structures, but most owners say that’s just not enough time to fix everything.
Indian restaurant owner, Sunny, acknowledges that "the investment will be very expensive, and we don’t know what will happen from now with the terraces, but it will definitely affect us."
Customer, Toñita, who’s with two friends is adamant, saying "if there are no closed terraces in winter, I will not come,” but José, who’s a resident isn’t that bothered, “it doesn't affect me because I don't go to bars,” he says.
The Pimem Restoration Association is preparing a referendum "for the people to decide," according to President Alfonso Robledo, whilst others, such as the Santa Pagesa Neighborhood Association, maintain that there are "abuses" on the terraces.