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City of Hartford helping restaurants move business outside


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Restaurants in Hartford are now allowed to apply for permits for outdoor dining and retail.

Mayor Luke Bronin said it’s going to be easy and free; they want the owners to set up tables and get back to work as fast as they can.

“If you want to use the parking spaces in front of your restaurant, we will work with you with the Hartford Parking Authority,” Bronin said.

Some restaurant owners said they are a little concerned about committing fully to outdoor dining when it could only be temporary and might not be profitable. So, they say it may look more casual like where you stand outside at a table and enjoy the day with a nice meal, but they probably won’t have waiters.

“It’s probably still going to be takeout, we will give the customers the bag and they can come out here and eat if they want, so it’s really not dining outdoors, it’s really just more of a place to sit,” Dung Tran, Banh Meee, said.

Some also worry that when they do have a few customers coming in, they fear there won’t be a way to contain it, adding that there is concern for people coming by and panhandling.

“We would probably do reservations only, but I think people are willing to come out to enjoy your dinner just to get out of the house,” said Caz Mcavoy, Agave Grill.

One of the things restaurant owners struggle with is how to create room on a narrow sidewalk. Will they put tables in the street, in a parking lot or parking spaces?

“I think we just have to keep going until the very end,” Tran said. “To expect to make a profit or even to be busy right now, it’s just foolish.”

One thing they can all agree on it the need for good weather.

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