Dune Deck Café owner John Caruso persuaded the Lantana Town Council to give him five additional decal-parking spaces for his employees. Appearing at the town’s Jan. 27 meeting, Caruso said the outdoor café at Lantana beach currently has 15 parking spaces for employees, but that’s not enough.

“My employees are getting $50 tickets and they can’t afford that,” he said, adding that code enforcement was stricter than ever. Often, others are taking the spots allotted for employees, forcing workers to park elsewhere.

“Even on our busiest day, there are a lot of decal parking spots open” for the public, he said.

He requested 10 more spots but was grateful for the town’s compromise of five more.

“Your busiest time is our busiest, too,” Councilman Phil Aridas said before offering five more spaces. Council members said if other people use parking spots reserved for employees, Caruso should have the vehicles towed away.

“I’m in a bad position if I tow my customers away,” Caruso said.

Caruso has operated the seaside restaurant since 1992. His contract extends until 2022.   

Mary Thurwachter

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