An outdoor dining and drinking area on Seventh Street is created each evening from on-street parking near Braxton Brewing Co.’s taproom and Parlor on Seventh, McK’s Chicks, and Rich’s Proper Food and Drink restaurants.
City extends pandemic-related ReCov outdoor seating campaign,
COVINGTON, Ky. - Up Over Bar owner Amy Kummler has great appreciation for the tables that allow 20 people to sit in front of the MainStrasse Village nightspot each evening and enjoy their drinks.
By adding seating, the tables help the bar at 624 Main St. maintain business while adhering to “the 50 percent indoor capacity rule” and other state-mandated guidelines related to COVID-19. The outdoor seating also makes customers more likely to visit.
“People are much more comfortable sitting outside and not being enclosed,” Kummler said. “It’s a really big deal that the City lets us do this.”
Thanks to an executive order signed Monday by Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, that outdoor seating won’t go away with the advent of cold weather.
#RecoverCovington - a creative effort that carved out “safe” outdoor dining and drinking areas amid the pandemic using sidewalks, alleys, parking spots, and other spaces in the public right of way - will be extended by two months, and businesses will be allowed to use heaters, although they have to reapply.
The temporary outdoor space is part of the City’s concerted and ongoing effort to protect jobs and help small businesses survive while navigating ever-changing health mandates and public fears of the highly contagious and sometimes fatal COVID-19 coronavirus.
“Restaurants and bars have really been able to capitalize on this additional outdoor space, and we want to continue to help them do so,” said Josh Rhodes, a former restaurant manager hired by the City to serve as a liaison with the industry during the pandemic. “Their struggle to survive doesn’t end with the end of summer.”
The executive order, which can be seen HERE
, requires businesses to reapply if they intend to re-organize their outdoor seating to accommodate heaters. To do so, they should contact executive assistant Elizabeth Glass at email@example.com
or (859) 292-2129, or Rhodes at firstname.lastname@example.org
The order also extends the eligibility period. First announced in May and then expanded in July, the special outdoor seating was originally set up to go away on Oct. 31. Now it extends through the holidays to Jan. 2, 2021.
Almost 40 restaurants and bars in Covington have been approved for outdoor dining under the ReCov program, said Glass, who coordinates special event permits and outdoor seating licenses in the City Manager’s office.
“That number includes bars and restaurants that previously had outdoor seating (but have had to spread out the seats to adhere to the 6-foot rule) and those with entirely new table areas created specially because of the pandemic,” Glass said.
As part of ReCov campaign, the City and businesses are also enforcing rules that protect employees by requiring face coverings to be worn when people are moving around, every patron to have a seat at a table to get food and drink service, and customers not in the same group to socially distance.
The rules are designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky and prevent more stringent rules from being handed down.
“We were shut down for 3½ months, and then again for that two weeks (in the summer),” Kummler said. “We can’t afford to be shut down again.”
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