NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The COVID-19 crisis has created a need for social distancing, so restaurants are spreading to outdoor spaces. This weekend, more streets in New Haven are partially shutting down to cars, but opening up to diners.
Orange Street, between Center and George Street, has changed to expand outdoor dining in the Elm City.
One lane at College and Crown Street has also partially shut down so restaurants can expand outdoor dining into the street to help restaurants.
RELATED: College Street partially closes to accommodate New Haven restaurants expanding outdoor dining
Both Pacifico Restaurant and South Bay Mediterranean Kitchen have been able to add 20 more seats outside. Most of them were filled on Saturday. This is great news for businesses trying to bounce back from the pandemic.
Cesar Poma-Rodriguez from South Bay Mediterranean kitchen said, “This is helping us immensely. I can say 100 percent we show an immense amount of gratitude.”
Jodie Antoine and her friend saw something unusual when visiting New Haven from Philadelphia Saturday. But, they didn’t seem to mind.
“I’m liking it,” Jodie said. They were dining on College Street — literally ON College Street.
Both restaurants are seeing an increase in customers who wanted to take advantage of the nice, summer weather to get outside and help the local economy, as well.
“It’s like a circle of life,” one man said. “We have to all be in this together and part of that is supporting these businesses.”
This comes as the city initiated its Summer Saturdays campaign – enticing people to come back to downtown restaurants with parking discounts, meal deals, and summer entertainment on the street. Next week on Orange Street, Elm City Games will add outdoor family fun activities to the mix.
As far as College Street goes, expect one lane to be closed there between Chapel and Crown at least through Labor Day.