Server Gracie Messer delivers a lunch order to Juliann Couture at a “social distanced” table in the parking lot at the Blackbelly Market on Tuesday, July 7, in Boulder. (Jeremy Papasso, The Daily Camera)

A high-ranking Boulder official made clear Tuesday that despite outdoor dining happening locally, restaurants and retailers are still facing adversity as the coronavirus continues to spread through communities.

“I won’t even call this a recovery time for restaurants and retailers right now. I will call it an exploration of what they are going to do to see if they can make it,” Assistant City Manager Yvette Bowden said in a virtual City Council meeting.

In the face of that challenge, Boulder’s eateries seem to have been quick to convert to an outdoor dining model, and part of the city’s intent in allowing a fast turnaround was to give businesses hope, Bowden said, as they returned from a government-ordered shutdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the spring.

The work has led to some outdoor dining sections becoming a hit.

Council members who visited some of the city’s spots lauded their experiences, as well as the city staff’s effort to start a streamlined process for businesses to modify licensing to begin serving food and drinks outside, including alcohol in many cases.

Read more from our partner the Boulder Daily Camera.

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