CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Seven months after the City of Cincinnati created temporary outdoor patio dining for restaurants and bars in the urban core, city leaders announced the program will be permanent.
Mayor John Cranley detailed the $2 million effort with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. officials in a news conference Friday afternoon.
First introduced in early May, the temporary outdoor dining sites arrived as Ohio lifted lockdown restrictions on bars and restaurants. The city created a new permit process and coordinated with 3CDC on their implementation throughout downtown and in Over-the-Rhine.
Twenty-six temporary sites were created behind broad orange barricades. Some took up parking spaces outside restaurants; other shut down entire streets, exchanging traffic for tents, tables and chairs. As opposed to indoor settings, they provided a low-risk and highly enjoyable alternative for diners through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now many if not all those sites are slated to become permanent fixtures of the urban fabric — Streateries, the city says — in spring 2021.
The effort will use parklets, concrete bump-outs and sidewalk expansions to create the outdoor dining spaces.
The city also proposes to close portions of four streets for outdoor dining, all of which are currently shut down as part of the temporary program:
- 15th Street from Vine Street to Parvis Alley;
- 15th Street from Race Street to Goose Alley;
- 14th Street from Race Street to Republic Street; and
- Broadway Street from 12th Street to 13th Street.
“Making these outdoor dining areas permanent will not only provide bars and restaurants with valuable expanded seating, but they will also generate added vibrancy in the urban core, provide important traffic-calming features to our streets, and will be much more aesthetically pleasing than the construction barriers currently in use,” Cranley said.
According to the city, the parklets will be created with high-quality wood decking “that will seamlessly integrate railings and planters, which will serve as natural barriers.”
Creation of the Streateries will be funded by the city with contributions from private foundations, including the Devou Good Foundation, the Duke Energy Foundation, and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.
The city has already identified five sites that would have their sidewalks extended with concrete bump-outs, including sites in front of City Bird, The Eagle, Quan Hapa, The Mercer and Jeff Ruby’s.
The 26 establishments in the temporary program are immediately eligible for a new parklet, according to the city. Those that do not currently have temporary outdoor seating will also be eligible.
3CDC will handle implementation of the parklets.
Construction is expected to begin in January 2021 and be completed by spring.
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