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Changes could be coming to Newark's Alfresco dining events

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Newark’s Alfresco dining events that helped restaurants serve more people outside during the pandemic could return, but there may be some changes.

At its Monday meeting, Newark City Council discussed an option floated by participating restaurants to take a break in the middle of the summer when it’s hottest.

The suggested schedule would hold the outdoor Alfresco dining events on Main Street either bi-weekly or twice a month in April and May with maybe one in June and then possibly resume in September and October.

City Manager Tom Coleman says the restaurants are in favor of a schedule like this because the summer events weren’t as profitable.

"The ROI for them was low because it requires a lot of staff, and they didn't see much from the dining side, not a lot of sales to justify the extra staff. And they also provided some feedback that when it's so frequent that it loses its specialness so people stopped coming out as often," said Coleman.

Councilman Travis McDermott – like many on council - supports an amended Alfresco schedule if that’s what the restaurants prefer.

"I support the alfresco dining again, and if the businesses want to adjust it with what's in the best interest to for their business which would also return probably what's in the best interest for the city I don't have an issue with that - so April May June September, twice a month -I can support that," said McDermott.

Coleman adds feedback from small restaurants and businesses is that the closure of Main Street had a negative impact on them.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.