GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, outdoor dining is almost everywhere you look and it’s expanding.
Greenfield received $66,018 from MassDOT from the Shared Streets and Spaces program to create appropriate areas for customers to socially distance while enjoying downtown restaurants.
The grant will go towards helping businesses such as Hope and Olive put in speed bumps on the street near outdoor dining to protect customers. It’ll also fund getting fencing around outdoor dining areas so that they have defined spaces.
“It’s to help business come back to life and figure out how we’re going to share the public space in downtown so that to works for the businesses and it works for the people that live and work here,” Greenfield’s Community and Economic Development Director, MJ Adams told 22News.
As of mid-September, many restaurants are using temporary jersey barriers but the grant will help the city buy movable planters to fence off areas as outdoor dining spaces. The grant will also pay for the installation of temporary handicap ramps at outdoor dining locations.
“Something that Greenfield has done well is we worked with that local restaurant owners so as they’re making their space outdoors that we’re in really tight communication with them about what they need and how the adjustments need to go,” Adams continued.
One restaurant in Greenfield told 22News, the creation of outdoor dining spaces have helped boost their customer base since many people don’t feel comfortable going inside to dine.
“It depends on the weather really. But we usually get filled up out here faster than we normally would inside,” Hangar Pub and Grill Server, Eliza Sagan told 22News.
Some restaurants are already looking to the future, and hope the make-shift outdoor spaces will come back pandemic or not.