WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – This winter, the town of West Hartford is telling restaurants to clear out of the streets instead of clearing plates.

Restaurants in West Hartford are being required to remove a big portion of their outdoor dining areas for the winter season. Businesses were told they must remove tables from these barricaded streets, so public works employees can clear the road.

Chris Lynch, General Manager of Avert Brasserie said they will need to store away 10 tables.

“It’s not necessarily a good thing to ever lose seats, but again with the weather, there isn’t a great demand for outdoor seating unless we get really nice days like last weekend,” said Chris Lynch.

Around the corner at Max’s Oyster Bar, General Manager Shawn Jones stated that the seating has helped them stay afloat.

“The extended patio is vital for our success,” said Jones.

Jones shared he is losing about 20 tables outdoors, which accounted for about 60% of his business during the pandemic. He is not too concerned because anyone who does not want to sit inside has the option to be on the patio or get takeout.

“People still have some issues being close to strangers, so I think this definitely helps us to get those guests,” said Jones.

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor said they’re using federal covid-19 dollars to work on a master plan. 

“The true expanded dining isn’t as critical as it was, but it’s important to west hartford; and so we’re going to continue to encourage our restaurants to have that extended patio, but the configuration might look a little different,” said Mayor Cantor.

That plan could include extending sidewalks, allowing for more outdoor dining year-round. These restaurants hope it becomes permanent. 

“It brings a great vibe to the West Hartford center for the retail stores, as well as the restaurants. You see people walking up and down the center having a great time,” said Jones.