Ahead of any set reopening date, the city of Denver on Monday announced that restaurants and bars could begin submitting proposals to operate outdoors in parking lots, on sidewalks and in streets.
Once approved, the new al fresco dining areas would be allowed to run until at least Sept. 7, according to a city release.
“Business owners need time to prepare for re-opening, and we want to set them up for success as soon as dine-in becomes permissible again,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in the release. “We also want to ensure it’s safe for employees and customers to return to these businesses when that time comes.”
During a Monday press conference, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis reiterated his commitment to a statewide move toward outdoor dining.
“The state is going to waive every rule and regulation we can, including serving beer and wine on streets, anything else that gets in the way of restaurants doing that, but of course it is the cities that control those,” Polis said. “If cities value having restaurants and keeping them in business as part of their quality of life, it’s really important that they open their sidewalks, parking lots, and/or streets in the next few weeks to have that capacity, because restaurants simply can’t stay in business at a quarter or half capacity.”
Denver’s website for restaurant and bar proposals asks business owners to describe their expansion plans along with a drawing of the temporary new patio space(s).
Polis also said on Monday that he will announce further guidance for restaurants to reopen by Tuesday, a week before his original deadline of May 25.
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