A scene from the outdoor dining and drinking area on Seventh Street created each evening last fall from on-street parking near Braxton Brewing Co.’s taproom and Parlor on Seventh, McK’s BBQ, and Rich’s Proper Food and Drink restaurants.
City adds 6 months to pandemic-related ReCov outdoor seating campaign
COVINGTON, Ky. –To help its restaurants survive and recover from the pandemic and protect jobs, the City is again extending a special program that temporarily created additional outdoor dining and drinking areas in public spaces.
As part of the RecoverCovington effort, the City last May began allowing restaurants – where feasible and safe – to apply to install tables and chairs in the public right of way, such as sidewalks, alleys, medians, and on-street parking spots.
Several times over the last year, the City extended and expanded the program, for example to allow tents and heaters.
This latest move further extends the program until Oct. 31.
“One of our city’s greatest attractions are our bars and restaurants, and we want to help them and their employees get through this difficult time,” City Manager David Johnston said.
“From the start, this temporary program created spaces that both helped customers feel safe and comfortable about eating out and helped restaurants expand their seating capacity, given restrictions on that indoor capacity,” Johnston add. “Now, even as the Governor is easing restrictions, we recognize that restaurants need to ‘catch up’ on their business, and we want to help them do so.”
The new executive order signed by Mayor Joe Meyer can be seen HERE
About 15 restaurants and bars met the “safe and feasible” standard and secured special arrangements for outdoor areas under the temporary RecoverCovington program. All told, about 40 restaurants and bars in Covington typically feature outdoor dining, said Elizabeth Glass, who coordinates special event permits and outdoor seating licenses in the City Manager’s office.
All restaurants with outdoor seating in the public right of way – including those under the temporary program – must apply for a 2021 Outdoor Tables and Seating License. To do so, contact Glass at firstname.lastname@example.org
or (859) 292-2129.
Josh Rhodes, a former restaurant manager hired by the City to serve as a liaison with the industry during the pandemic, said the temporary dining areas have been a big help.
“Even though business is getting better, it’s been a long time since the pandemic started, and it’s going to take time for local businesses to recoup losses and get back to where they were before COVID-19,” he said. “It’s been a welcome sight seeing people eat at these street-side areas. It’s very European of Covington, and it’s gotten us talking about alfresco-style dining.”
“At the same time,” Rhodes said, “in creating these temporary areas, the City had to look at each application individually to make sure it fit within the context of the blended neighborhoods in which it fell – so we couldn’t create these just anywhere.”