FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2020
Contact: Mary McGetrick
Long Range Planning
Block Avenue Micro Street Closure Provides Expanded Outdoor Seating
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— This Thursday, Aug. 27 from 5 to 11 p.m., residents and visitors will have access to expanded outdoor seating on N. Block Avenue through a Micro Street Closure. A section of on-street parking spaces on N. Block Ave between W. Spring and W. Meadow Streets will be closed, and a Slow Streets treatment will be in place to help calm traffic. City of Fayetteville officials are trying out this one-night expanded outdoor seating pilot program to help nearby businesses with limited indoor service capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tables will be set up more than six feet apart under canopies in the parking spaces along east side of N. Block Ave. This will allow patrons of nearby establishments to sit and safely remain socially distanced from others while enjoying a meal or drinks outside. All COVID-19 safety protocols and regulations remain in effect, including wearing masks when not eating or drinking and limiting group sizes to no more than 10 people. The businesses involved will continue to provide indoor and take-out service in addition to the outdoor seating options.
Many of the establishments on Block Ave have limited indoor service space, restricting the number of diners they can accommodate indoors during the pandemic. These businesses are taking advantage of recent changes in Fayetteville ordinance that allow for sidewalk cafés to be established without a railing around them and for “parklets” to be set up in designated parking areas to provide temporary seating. However, the Micro Street Closure allows temporary expanded capacity above and beyond the installation of parklets and sidewalk cafes allowing businesses to gauge the needs for expanded capacity before investing in additional semi temporary seating options.
“COVID-19 health regulations require local bars and restaurants to operate at a reduce capacity, making it difficult for these businesses to accommodate all customers,” said Mary McGetrick, Long Range Planning and Special Project Manager for the City of Fayetteville. “The Micro Street Closure is a way for the City of Fayetteville to provide expanded capacity for patrons in a safe and socially distanced way while allowing local business owners to meet the increasing demand for their services."
N. Block Ave is also within the boundaries of the City’s Outdoor Refreshment Area (ORA) Open Consumption District pilot program. This pilot program allows guests 21 years of age and older to carry and consume alcoholic beverages in designated cups, while wearing the official wristband on public sidewalks and participating properties within the ORA district boundary. The ORA is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For more information about which Fayetteville businesses participate in the Outdoor Consumption District program, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/ora.