Have you been enjoying the outdoor dining options in Denver over the last year? Sitting out under the fresh air of a cool Colorado evening is a recipe for success, no matter what you’re eating. If you’ve loved the outdoor eating scene in Denver over the last several months, you’re going to be delighted with this news: the outdoor Denver dining scene is here to stay!
Mayor Hancock’s Announcement
On October 26, Mayor Michael Hancock stood in the Daughter Thai Kitchen and Bar in downtown Denver and made the announcement that the outdoor dining program would continue well into 2022–and beyond. The program initially began in March 2020, when COVID-19 forced restaurants to limit their seating space and keep social distancing in place.
Over the next 16 months or so, 373 restaurants and bars took advantage of the outdoor seating program to host restaurant guests outdoors. Under the program, restaurants are allowed to expand their patio area into public and private spaces to seat more guests. Over the last several months, people have come to love this safe, healthy, and enjoyable way of eating dinner.
The Colorado Restaurant Association revealed in their latest survey that around 74% of restaurant owners would like to continue the outdoor seating program. Over the last summer, at least 54% of restaurant revenue came from the outdoor seating program and all the meals that the program made possible.
Recovering from the Pandemic
So many restaurants have been struggling to get back on their feet after the long pandemic. In the last year, at least 110,000 restaurants and other eating establishments were forced to close because of the pandemic. In Denver, the outdoor eating program was one of the few things that kept restaurants alive when they might otherwise have failed.
Now, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is working on establishing a permanent outdoor dining structure. Likely, they’ll be developing a system of applying for and receiving permits to create more outdoor dining space in areas on the sidewalks or streets that would otherwise be public property. The permanent program is expected to launch by October 2022.
Mayor Hancock and the other leaders of the Colorado Restaurant Association encouraged restaurants to keep going with the promise of more outdoor eating space in the future. Over 100 restaurants have already applied for an extension of their outdoor seating permits through the end of January. From now on, the program is expected to offer restaurants an annual permit for a $50 fee.
Enjoying the Outdoor Seating Areas
If you enjoy the Denver weather and the beauty of Colorado, you’re going to love this new outdoor seating program. Now, you’ll be able to go to a restaurant and seat yourself out under the fresh air with a view of the town and its citizens all around you. You can spend hours breathing in the fresh air, enjoying wholesome dishes, and visiting with friends and family.
The pandemic hit Denver hard, just as it hit all of us hard. We’ve been through a lot over the past year and a half as we’ve had to struggle to adapt to new ways of doing our favorite activities. But this outdoor seating program isn’t just a way of adapting–it’s a silver lining! Now you can enjoy the convenience, security, and beauty of Denver all at once outside any of your favorite restaurants.
You can enjoy a luxurious meal on an outdoor balcony or sit on the patio for a relaxed, casual bite to eat. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy Denver’s finest in the fresh, natural beauty that made the city great in the first place. Whatever you love to eat most, you can now enjoy outdoor dining in Denver all year long, for good!