MILFORD - A Milford restaurant owner says the city is unfairly stalling his plans to convert the space outside his shop into an outdoor patio.

Rick Ciardiello, owns Eli's Tavern on Daniel Street. He wants to install the patio on city-owned land on the side of his restaurant.

Milford Mayor Ben Blake says neighbors oppose the plan.

"This is a park where people picnic," Blake says. "Families picnic. Musicians perform."

But Ciardiello says the city keeps changing its story and accuses officials of playing favorites.

"Every time we go to a meeting or have another discussion, it's another reason," Ciardiello says.

The city already leases part of the property to a coffee shop next door, and Ciardiello says the city had agreed to the patio plan with his restaurant's previous owners, 10 years ago.