But street closures will be suspended starting in November.
Frederick, Md (KM) Outdoor dining will continue in Frederick during the winter months. In a unanimous vote on Thursday night, the Board of Aldermen approved three ordinances which would allow restaurants to serve meals in “parklets,”: which are public streets designed as parking spaces between the travel lanes and the curb. Eating establishments would also be allowed to provide outside dining at on-site patios and parking areas, and off-site parking areas if they’re within 250 feet of the main building.
One of the laws would also allow food trucks to operate in non-residential areas during the winter months.
“These ordinances and the extensions is really intended to provide our restaurant businesses with certainty that they have areas that they can safely use on warm days during the winter months to serve meals,” says Richard Griffin, the city’s Director of Economic Development.
In June and in August 2020, the Board of Aldermen adopted ordinances which allowed restaurants to serve meals outdoors during the summer months. But the laws are set to expire on October 31st, 2020.
During the hearing on Thursday, Carlo Serio, whose family owns Pretzel and Pizza Creations on North Market Street in Frederick,, expressed support for the new ordinances. “Since the parklets have started, it’s probably accounted for 15% to 20% of our business. And in the restaurant industry, that is absolutely significant,,” he said.
The new laws expire on October 31t, 2021, or 30 days after the Governor lifts his state of emergency which was put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Alderwoman Kelly Russell said outdoor dining has proven to be very popular in Frederick, and the city should take that into consider for the future. “We’re test-driving it right now, and it seems to be working really well. We are obviously not back to full functionality in the community, and that’s going to have to waive. But I think it’s really important that we look at this as a long term possibility,” she said.
By Kevin McManus