PHILADELPHIA - Midtown Village streets opened for businesses Friday for outdoor dining. Businesses hope the city will allow it to continue each weekend through at least November.
"I thought it was really cool," said Jessica Chacon. She and Frank Martin were out picking up food for the evening when they noticed the area of 13th and Walnut closed to traffic but open for outside dining in the street.
"I appreciate that Philly would do that because I love eating out, I love brunching and I love just being outside," said Chacon.
What would normally be a steady flow of traffic is now tables spaced apart and full. It's brought an energy to businesses along 13th Street that struggled through the pandemic.
"It is hope. That is what I'm seeing today," said Fergus Carey. He’s the owner of Fergie’s Pub. Some businesses were only doing pick up or delivery. Others had limited sidewalk dining.
"We seem to be doing it right and it's nice and peaceful. A lot of social distancing, respect, mask wearing and we're all so invested in this," said Carey.
The city's approval of the street closures includes traffic on 13th from Locust to Chestnut, Sansom from Juniper to 12th, Drury Street from Juniper to 13th and Juniper from Chestnut to Sansom.
This is the new look of Midtown this weekend for now.
"I have goosebumps," said Jeff Alexander. He’s the President of Midtown Village Merchants Association.
"We've lost some businesses. Two that I can name off top of my head and possibly more. If we can keep these streets closed and if we can get people to visit our neighborhood it won't happen again and we'll get these great business owners making some money,” said Alexander.
It started today at 1 p.m. and will run through midnight Sunday.
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