LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- Friday is the first day the city of Lafayette is offering expanded downtown dining space. Two local business owners in partnership with Friends of Downtown and the city came up with the idea.
"Some of the restaurants don't have outdoor dining at all,” said Scott Trzaskus the owner of East End Grill. “That's the number one thing that we are hearing from the guests right now is that they feel more comfortable outside so this will really help."
Business owners saw cities like Indianapolis have success with offering more outdoor dining options. Therefore, they wanted to replicate the idea here in Lafayette.
"Once we came up with the idea and we started talking to all the other downtown businesses and that includes retail shops everybody embraces it," said Steve Bultinck Treasure, Friends of Downtown.
The goal is to expand the number of customers that restaurants can serve. The majority of downtown establishments do not have space to properly social distance to allow 75 percent capacity.
"Even though there is 75 percent capacity according to the state most folks don't have the square footage to be able to achieve that," Greg Emig the Owner of Lafayette Brewing.
While the expanded seating will help local businesses, it is also a safer way for locals to enjoy what downtown has to offer.
"It's going to be totally safe,” said Bultinck we are meeting all the guidelines that have been laid out by the CDC. "
Fresh Air Eats will run on Friday nights from four to 10 pm; Saturdays, 9 am to 10 pm; and Sundays, 9 am to 9 pm. The initiative will continue every weekend until October 4th.
Parking on Main Street will be limited. The street closures during the promotion are as follows.
- Main Street between 10th and 11th Streets
- Main Street between 6th and 8th Streets
- Main Street between 5th and 6th Streets
- 5th Street between Main and Columbia
- Main Street from 2nd and 3rd Street
- Second Street from the north side of the MARQ parking entrance to Ferry Street