PATCHOGUE, NY — Destination downtowns across Long Island are looking for creative ways to encourage safe dining when restaurants open up again after the coronavirus shutdown. New York State’s guidelines include dining in restaurants in Phase III, and although details about the recommendations aren’t yet known, Patchogue Village officials have been in talks for several weeks to conceptualize how the return might look.
David Kennedy, the executive director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, told Patch that although the specifics are still to be determined, the Chamber, Patchogue mayor Paul Pontieri, and the Business Improvement District are all on board with a general plan to allow for increased outdoor dining when the time comes.
The village’s popular summer street festival “Alive After Five” may get rebranded as “Dine ‘Til Nine.” Ideas such as a once-weekly closure of Main Street for restaurants to add outdoor tables are being discussed, Kennedy said.
The mayor and village restaurants both began brainstorming ideas for the eventual reopening of downtown, Kennedy told Patch.
“There’s not a restaurant on Main Street who isn’t open to the idea.”
The village plans to launch slowly, and assess demand. Kennedy noted that there may be a lot of pent-up demand from the public, or lower demand from those who are hesitant after social distancing for so long. Another issue is how to manage the flow of the public, and if the Main Street dining should be reservation-based, to avoid crowds waiting for tables, or first-come, first-serve.
This article originally appeared on the Patchogue Patch