Redwood City is joining the street dining crowd

Alfresco dining zones will remain in place through Sept. 30

A new initiative called “Eat, Sip & Be in RWC” will allow businesses in the city’s restaurant-rich downtown to expand to the streets and sidewalks with tables for open-air dining.

From now through Sept. 30, restaurants and their customers are taking over a number of streets including Theatre Way, Broadway between Middlefield Road and Main Street, and Main Street from Broadway to Middlefield Road.

Sidewalk cafes have been added to several other blocks, including Broadway from Middlefield to El Camino Real. Other features include parklets and temporary parking spots for grab-and-go customers.

“Open-air dining is an incredible opportunity for the city and its local businesses after the ups and downs these resilient companies have faced,” Amy Buckmaster, executive director of the Redwood City Improvement Association, said in a statement.

“We combined our efforts with the Downtown Business Group, the City of Redwood City and the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce to create an experience that helps our local businesses begin to recover from the last few months, while also bringing our community together to support each other in a socially distanced and healthy manner.”

Although San Mateo County has already started allowing indoor dining as part of the COVID-19 reopening, the alfresco concept allows more restaurants to spread out tables — and provides an option for small eateries that cannot successfully social distance customers indoors.

The RCIA has installed hand sanitizing stations throughout the zone, and social distancing is required. Diners are encouraged to make reservations for the tables.

Other cities embracing street dining include Oakland, Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

Original Article : The Mercury News
By LINDA ZAVORAL | Bay Area News Group