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Private Bathrooms for Public Use? No Say Businesses

Paying business for the use of their bathrooms during Market Night sounds nice, but it may not work, some businesses said.

An idea by Redlands city staffers to pay merchants to allow the public to use their restrooms during Market Night seems like a good idea, but the owners and operators of some eateries said it may not be feasible.

The businesses along the Market Night route, State Street between Orange and Ninth streets, are already impacted by the thousands that stream through, many said.

“During the spring to early fall months, Market Night is so busy that we already have lines for the bathroom as it is just for our customers,” said Scott Brandt, owner of on State Street.

The idea to pay the business was one of many approved by the Redlands City Council on April 17. The city is looking to improve Market Night and draw in more people. To encourage visitors to patronize businesses and inspire some of the businesses to extend their hours, the Council decided to reallocate funds used to pay for Port-a-Potties and use them as stipends for the businesses instead.

The Press-Enterprise reported on the different ideas approved by the council.

“I don't know yet which if any specific businesses have expressed interest,” said city spokesman Carl Baker by emial late Monday. “Those that do will be noted with signs outside their businesses on Thursday nights.”

When contacted by Redlands-Loma Linda Patch, several eateries said they had not heard of the stipend program and had not yet been contacted. But participating in would be a challenge at best.

Las Brasas and Gourmet Pizza Shoppe staffers said their bathrooms are small.

“We probably just don’t have the capacity to turn our bathroom into a fully public bathroom,” Brandt said.

Many restrooms do not have multiple stalls, such as and and Café Royal – which is actually off the path. And several of those businesses contacted said even though they only allow customers to use the bathrooms, the restrooms still have long lines on Market Nights.

“We have a lot of the vendors who come in to use the bathroom as well,” said Scott Covey, a staffer with the Gourmet Pizzas Shoppe.

If other businesses opened their bathrooms that might help but there’s no real way to know, Covey said.

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