There’s no doubt that things will look different as Birmingham’s eateries and bars open their doors to welcome back patrons. Customer and employee safety will definitely be top of mind for the city’s bustling culinary scene, so things may look a little different as they adhere to new safety rules. Here are some examples of what restaurants in other cities and states are doing to promote social distancing:
As a part of the city’s Lift Up Local Recovery Plan, both restaurants and retailers are allowed to extend their footprint out into city streets and into privately-owned parking lots. All seating —both indoors and outdoors—must be spaced 6-feet apart. And, indoor seating is capped at 25-percent occupancy. Restaurants are also encouraged to give out paper menus and use contactless ordering and payment methods. More info here.
Starting Friday, May 15, 25 streets will close to allow for more outdoor seating for restaurants downtown and in the Over-The-Rhine area, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. “Restaurants are critical to the vibrancy in our urban core,” Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley told the outlet. “Shutting down streets and lanes to expand dining so people can come back downtown and get delicious meals will be great.” According to the news outlet, the plan will also extend to neighborhood bars and restaurants.
Studio One Eleven suggests that cities in California use proven methods such as parklets and flex zones to expand outdoor seating options. Parklets, used in Long Beach in 2011, involve converting some curbside parking spaces into dining areas. Flex zones temporary pop-up dining areas marked off using colorful spray chalk designs. See more of their suggestions here.
Other countries are also tackling the outdoor seating conundrum. Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, will turn most of the city into an outdoor café in hopes of helping out its bar and restaurant industry. So far, 18 public spaces have opened up, with more expected soon. Read more from The Guardian.
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