City moving ahead with outdoor plans for restaurants and bars

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

CBC News/Dale Molnar


BIA's and individual establishments to submit plans for approval

City council has given the go-ahead to restaurants, bars and business improvement associations to submit plans for how they intend to utilize outdoor spaces — such as temporary street closures — once the province allows them to reopen. 
BIA officials had a virtual meeting with 40 members and then spent much of last Friday canvassing the downtown area, gauging what businesses want to do once they can reopen.
"Everybody wants something different," said Brian Yeomans, chairperson for the Downtown Windsor BIA. "We're super excited about the opportunity."
On May 20, the city announced plans to have an outdoor food court at the Lanspeary Park rink. The city will also waive sidewalk cafe fees and waive fees for the expanded cafes to be located on public right of ways.
On Monday, council ratified an eight-point recommendation that included a request for an expedited response from the city's Special Events Resource Team to the plans submitted by businesses.
Outdoor venues could spring up in parking lots, street parking spots, sidewalks and streets.
"The Erie Street BIA has a plan to close the streets on weekends," said Ward 3 Coun. Rino Bortolin.
Yeomans expects his BIA will have a plan in place by week's end, adding they have the challenge of trying to appease merchants and proprietors on several different streets.
There is no time frame for when the restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen.