TAMPA, Fla. - The city of Tampa is allowing some restaurants to expand their dining spaces into otherwise off-limits areas like parking lots, sidewalks, and, in a few cases, sections of city streets.
The goal is to allow eateries to reopen while creating as much distance between customers as possible.
Most notable are six full road closures designated as café and retail zones by the city:
-Downtown: Three blocks of N Franklin Street, between E Polk Street and E Madison Street, plus one block of E Twiggs Street, west of N Franklin Street, between E Zack Street, E Madison Street;
-Hyde Park: W Snow Avenue between S Rome Avenue and W Swann Avenue;
-SOHO: One block of S Howard Avenue between W Morrison Avenue and W Bristol Avenue;
-Tampa Heights: About five blocks of N Franklin Street, from E Kay Street to just past E Oak Avenue;
-West River: About three blocks of W Grand Central Avenue, from W Kennedy Boulevard to S Hyde Park Avenue;
-Ybor City: About six blocks of E 7th Avenue, from N 15th Street to N 21st Street.
View the map of road closures at https://www.tampagov.net/sites/default/files/map-lift-up-local-cafe-retail-zones.pdf.
According to guidelines released by the city, restaurants and retail shops in these areas will be allowed to expand their operations onto the sidewalks, roadways, and adjacent on-street parking spaces.
On Facebook, Jason Fernandez posted photos of Tequilas Ybor’s expanded dining room, which spread out into the middle of 7th Avenue in Ybor City.
In his post, Fernandez said, “Thank you Mayor Jane Castor! You have turned lemons into Lemonade,” referring to the city’s Lift Up Local Economic Recovery Plan, which included the road closures to allow restaurants to socially-distance customers ahead of the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
Fernandez told FOX 13 News he is happy to open the restaurant as long as his staff and customers can stay safe and healthy.
For more information about the city’s plans, visit https://www.tampagov.net/emergency-management/LiftUpLocal?.
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