Bright red, orange, green and purple. Those are the colors being painted onto a new restaurant at the northwest corner of U.S. 19 and Enterprise Road.
The color scheme is vivid. It's eye-catching. But is it obnoxious? That's the question that the city's Community Development Board had to consider Tuesday.
They need to tone it down, one of the restaurant's neighbors complained in a letter to the city.
Clearwater planner Wayne Wells told board members they would need to decide whether the paint job was "loud, garish, ostentatious." He wore a bright green shirt with a bright red tie for the occasion.
The new eatery, Pssghetti's Homemade Italian Restaurant, is to open in a couple of months in a building where a Rio Bravo Fresh Mex restaurant closed in 2003. This is to be a second location for Pssghetti's, which was founded in North Carolina.
"The intent is for this to look like a village streetscape in Italy," said Phil Phillips, a local contractor in charge of the building's renovation. "It is different and it is made to stand out - not just another restaurant that's going out of business along U.S. 19."
He told the board that accents like cream-colored stone moldings and columns would help mute the colors. He said Pssghetti's had reduced the number of colors from six to four. He added that the red and orange colors are similar to those of a neighboring restaurant, Cody's Original Roadhouse.
Members of the development board had mixed reactions to the color scheme.
"It shouts," said chairman Nick Fritsch. "If the purple was gone, I wouldn't have a problem with it."
But Norma Carlough said the look reminded her of Burano, an island near Venice known for its small, brightly painted houses. "I have no problems at all if you're going to try to create something like this," she said. "When I looked at this, it was very refreshing."
Before the panel voted unanimously to allow the colors, board member Thomas Coates had one final question: "When are you opening?"
"The owner tells me in 60 days," Phillips answered, "but that's up to you guys."
Mike Brassfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 445-4160.