Dining in the street may be the future of Capitol Hill food and drink — at least for the rest of Seattle summer

Dining in the street may be the future of Capitol Hill food and drink — at least for the rest of Seattle summer

Let’s trade parking for spots to sit and enjoy pizza (Image: Harry’s Bar)

As King County’s two-month reopening mark nears its “Phase 2” mark and restrictions on indoor dining have tightened – with seating restricted to members of the same household and reduced bar service – alfresco dining seems like that To be the best How to enjoy your favorite reopening restaurants. Unfortunately, many restaurants and cafes in Capitol Hill and the Central District don’t have outdoor space. To help, the city has launched a free, “streamlined” process of offering six-month permits for outdoor cafes and road closures.

TO UPDATE: So far, 27 Capitol Hill restaurants have applied for temporary outdoor cafe permits, compared with just 8 businesses in the Central District Seattle Department of TransportationNine companies in Capitol Hill – and none in the Central District – have shown interest in road closure permits.

“[W]We are preparing to target small businesses on specific roads in high priority areas to ensure that this information is available and accessible, ”said SDOT Brian Hardison said. “To avoid persisting inequalities in the neighborhood, we are working to meet the needs of businesses and local residents.”

Some smaller, fast moving examples can be found along 15th Ave E. Olympia Pizza III and adjacent Harry’s Bar are some of the first places on Capitol Hill to enjoy al fresco dining by the roadside.

owner Harry Nicoloudakis The construction of the stably fenced island – also known as “Streatery” – is an easy decision.

“When the city started the free permit process and the state was on board, clearing five additional tables was a breeze,” said Nicoloudakis. “Customers love it, now we have a lot of people who came before COVID.”

(Image: Rione XIII)

Down the street, Messenger 13 built a dedicated street on E Harrison, a quieter side street. Ethan Stowell restaurants speaker Sennen David The outdoor terrace is a nice addition to the ongoing take-away business of the restaurant.

“We’ve been running happy hour for the past few weeks, and being outside on a patio is really great for that,” said David.

Close up an entire street to truly delight your favorite urban dining companion. For some food and beverage stores in Capitol Hill and the Central District in the right places, there are options to expand even further.

In these cases, some are working with SDOT to temporarily close a quieter back street, which could prove to be cheaper.

Is an early hill pioneer Brew optimism. The brewery E Union and Broadway extends its beer garden on the weekends to the relatively little-used Broadway Court. The street seating gives Optimism around 15 additional tables, the owners Gay gilmore says was an important part of keeping the business alive as it reopens.

“We are certainly serving way more people than before because people want to be outside,” said Gilmore. “The fact is, restaurants, hospitality establishments, and breweries like ours just can’t.” Only survive with 25% of the people you normally do. “

Gilmore found SDOT helpful in considering how best to implement the road closure, although she wishes free permits could have been an option earlier this summer.

“They are doing the right thing by doing this, and they are really thinking about things from perspectives that restaurateurs don’t – like public safety and where to put your signs for the best visibility of cars that may not pay attention, ”she said.

Optimism’s beer garden spills onto Broadway Court (Image: Optimism)

Sennen David from Rione XIII also found the city to be generally helpful in streamlining the application process and, under normal circumstances, made it more efficient than expected.

“You have been very proactive in reaching out to companies and saying,” Hey, we want to find ways you can get people to eat safely. “And of course, outside is both contemporary and much safer than inside,” said David.

Gilmore has experience with Optimism’s temporary road closure approval process for previous outdoor brewery events and hopes companies will be able to maintain outdoor street dining in the coming months.

“I mean, the really difficult part of it is that we’re not in one place like many companies are right now – they’re not in a place where they can do things like investing or spending a lot of money on an outdoor seating area even a couple of heaters and umbrellas when it gets cold, ”she said. “Everyone has real problems so it would be very difficult to make these investments.”

While there is no guarantee of whether the permits will be renewed in the long term or how the outdoor terraces will perform in the colder months ahead, there will certainly be more streateries and road closures in the coming weeks.

“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from other restaurants on the street who are interested and have actually reached out to me,” said Nicoloudakis of Olympia Pizza. “I’m pretty sure a lot will show up here pretty quickly.”

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