CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As the cold months quickly approach us here in the Mountain State, will outdoor dining continue in the Capital City? Restaurants owners and city don’t have an exact answer.
“We will closely monitor the weather forecasts to see if outdoor dining is a viable option on a week by week basis,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.
At the beginning of July, the City of Charleston sanctioned weekend outdoor seating along Capitol and Hale Streets to give an economic boost to hard-hit restaurants.
Sam’s Uptown Cafe Owner, Paul Greco says it’s been a tremendous help.
“I wish we could do it more than three days a week and with the cold weather approaching, I think we can still pull it off and keep everybody distanced adequately and make it safe,” said Greco.
Up the street, Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille Owner Deno Stanley said they’re not sure how they will move forward and adapt to the colder months, but a few ideas on the table include covered tents and heaters.
Mayor Goodwin said, “things surrounding COVID-19 change daily and we must remain nimble in reacting to those changes. Conversations will continue with small business owners in order to help them as much as possible moving forward.”
Health officials communicate with the city and county on a daily basis and say they must remain flexible in their decision-making as they don’t know what the disease rate will look like in the future.
Dr. Sherri Young with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department said, “if people don’t feel safe going out, then get take out, support your local restaurants by getting take out or taking it home.”
Indoor seating remains at 50% capacity in West Virginia.
“Sam’s is very small and without all our seats available on the main side of the building, it’s hard to get the numbers where they need to be to pay the bills,” says Greco.
In the meantime, Mayor Goodwin says the city will continue to bag parking meters in front of local restaurants to make curbside pick-up an easy, safe option for folks that want to patronize eateries without utilizing outdoor dining.