The City of Naperville is putting together outdoor dining cafés to help restaurants safely seat diners.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced local restaurants to get creative last year, with parking lots, pop-up tents, and streets turned into outdoor dining areas. And though more and more people are getting vaccinated against the virus every day, it’s still likely to make an impact on the restaurant industry in the summer of 2021.
“[Last year] it was sort of quickly put together, so this year we’re trying to plan for an attractive, adaptable, consistent option,” said Downtown Naperville Alliance Executive Director Katie Wood. “So the DNA in partnership with Dine Naperville and the Department of Public Works have come together and put together a design that will be in street parking spaces for many restaurants.”
What Will the Cafés Look Like?
The City of Naperville’s March 18, 2021 Manager’s Memorandum states that black fencing, brick pillars, string lighting, and planter boxes will be installed to give the outdoor dining scene an attractive and consistent look.
A map provided by the DNA highlights several areas that could be used as potential outdoor dining cafés. The map identifies Chicago Avenue, Jackson Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, and Main Street as spots that could be turned into cafés.
The Department of Public Works will install the outdoor cafés using Community Development Block Grant COVID Relief Funds and funding from DNA and Dine Naperville.
“We hope it will be out in April. It will enable patrons to dine outdoors to help those restaurants,” said Wood. “It’s something that I hope we’ll see year after year if all goes well.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
All photos courtesy of the City of Naperville.
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