You can eat dinner in the middle of Main Street in Newark again starting this week.
Being more than a year into the pandemic means that a now-annual COVID tradition is coming back around; Main Street Alfresco returns for its second season Wednesday at 4 p.m.
The City blocks off traffic to Main Street, and restaurants set up tables in the street.
“Last year at this time, the capacity was significantly reduced,” said Leann Moore, who heads the nonprofit Newark Partnership, which worked with the City to organize the event. “While the Governor is starting to loosen and increase capacity, it’s still not at 100%. So by closing Main Street and being able to extend seating outside, one, people feel more comfortable, and two, the restaurants and the servers are able to have more tables.”
Moore says the event has mainly helped Newark’s “full-service” restaurants.
“I don’t think that any of them would say this was the one thing that kept them going,” she said. “But this was the one day that they could count on actual in-person, which was really helpful for their servers in particular.”
Moore says this year organizers hope to expand participation in Main Street Alfresco and include non-restaurant businesses.
The event will be every second and fourth Wednesday of the month. Drivers are asked to move their cars off of Main Street by 3pm on those days.