Every now and then I get an email from a reader asking about the physical accessibility of a certain restaurant. I must admit, physical accessibility is not something I think about often when reviewing places. But in the case of Parco Style Cafe, the subterranean Printers Alley restaurant featured in this week's dining review, I had to wonder how in the world you would get into the place if you couldn't maneuver the front stairs, or didn't have the agility of an eel to navigate the circuitous route through the kitchen from the Third Avenue entrance.
Fortunately, there is a group dedicated to studying the accessibility of local businesses and building awareness of the challenges to people in wheelchairs. Guided by a coalition of volunteers with disabilities and representatives from the fields of business, aging and disability, Access Nashville conducts reviews of various establishments and rates them on a scale of Wow Access, Good Access and Limited Access.
Access Nashville volunteer Kenton Dickerson works with the Center for Independent Living in Middle Tennessee. He offered to review Parco Style Cafe from the accessibility standpoint. Dickerson declared Parco to have Limited Accessibility for people in wheelchairs, the group's lowest rating. According to his review, the entrance in Printers Alley, down a flight of stairs, is not accessible. He adds, “Although there is a back-door entrance at ground level that a person with a disability can use by punching in a security code (posted on the door), the passage to get from this door to the restaurant dining area is too narrow for a wheelchair to pass through.” Furthermore, he adds, the rest room is not accessible.
Access Nashville provides assessments for approximately 100 local restaurants, and the organization is currently in the process of doubling the number of reviews on its website. Bites will add a permanent link to Access Nashville.
As for how Parco stacks up from a culinary standpoint, you'll have to read the Scene's review.