BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — An outdoor patio at Dale’s Bar & Grill has added a new dimension to uptown dining in Maumee. “I hope this is the first of many more to come – this is a great thing,” said Dale’s owner Bill Anderson. Nearly two weeks ago, when Anderson was putting the finishing touches on furniture for the outdoor space and waiting for the city’s final inspection so he could officially open it, eager customers weren’t interested in delaying the opportunity to sit outside any longer. “We were not necessarily serving out there, but people just wanted to be out on the patio. They were pushing for it, so I told them (the staff) to go ahead and take care of them, and we have stayed packed ever since,” he said. The final inspection approval did come and city leaders say they are thrilled about the new space, which is a first for the uptown area. Maumee Mayor Richard Carr took a group of coworkers to lunch there last Friday. “I think this is great for everybody,” the mayor said. “This will become a destination spot that will bring people down here and they will see other businesses, so it will help everyone. I think it’s just beautiful.” The patio seats 50 and includes outdoor televisions for sports viewing as well as a full sound system, patio lights, tables with umbrellas and comfortable couch seating beneath a newly constructed pergola. The space is dog-friendly, as long as the pooch is on a leash and can behave; and with an ADA-certified ramp, it is also wheelchair-accessible. Sitting outside and being able to look up at the sky was an important consideration when designing the space. “It’s very pleasant with open air – I wanted it to be open, I didn’t want canopy, I wanted a true feel of outdoor,” Anderson said. Since the expansion, Anderson has hired 10 additional servers and plans to add more staff. He has also expanded hours to seven days per week and added live entertainment outside on Fridays and Saturdays from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. A new wine selection has been added to the menu with glasses of wine starting at $6.00 and bottles starting at $21.00. The restaurant also features a Bloody Mary bar on Sundays, with all of the fixings to make a perfect bloody Mary cocktail. Large heaters will be added in the cooler months to keep the space open well into football season, and Anderson intends to maintain a first-come, first-served basis for outdoor seating while larger parties can reserve space inside. Anderson invested approximately $175,000 to add the 1,350-square-foot patio, which took two months to construct once crews broke ground. Paul Sullivan of EDGE landscape architects, the firm created by OSU Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George, served as lead architect for the project. Hoffman Builders served as the general contractor and Schoen provided the excavation work. The restaurant seats 90 inside and with the new outside seating increasing capacity by 55 percent, adjustments were needed in the kitchen to keep up with demand. “We’ve been gearing up for months. That’s not to say every meal is going to come out in 10 minutes, but people for the most part are very patient, especially out on patio,” Anderson said. Anderson was 27 when he purchased the business in 1987. He had graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in agricultural economics and had worked at the Anderson family business, but felt a calling to be an entrepreneur. He was looking for something to do so he could “find his way in the working world.” Originally constructed in 1890 the building has strong historic roots, which suits Anderson just fine. A man named Dale Holmes first opened Dale’s Bar in 1920 and for a brief stint during prohibition, changed the name to Holmes Grill. After purchasing the building, Anderson developed the kitchen, expanded the menu and turned the popular little corner bar into an even more popular sports eatery that the whole family can enjoy. “I value tradition and I never even thought for one second of changing the name. The bar was a great neighborhood corner bar – it was a great hangout and I never wanted to lose that flavor,” Anderson said.