MANITOU SPRINGS — As indoor dining is still limited, Manitou Springs restaurant owners are coming up with different ways to still support local. One of the ideas is setting up socially-distanced takeout tables at nearby parks in the community.
It's a joint effort between restaurant owners, the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Manitou Springs Creative District and the city. The idea came up because many restaurants don't have the space to offer outdoor dining.
"There was a lot of talk about doing outdoor dining and creating outdoor patios on the sidewalks, but Manitou Springs is really challenged by the georgraphical layout of our roadway and the size of the sidewalks in front of a lot of our restaurants," said Farley McDonough, the owner of Adam's Mountain Cafe. "What Manitou Springs does have are these fabulous little parklets, little intimate areas that dot the avenue."
Currently there are a handful of takeout tables set up at Shashone Spring Park, located next to The Vault in Manitou Springs.
Stephanie Haggerty manages Red Dog Coffee & Bakery. She says the effort will help bring in business as indoor dining is still limited to 25% capacity.
"We don't have enough indoor seating and we don't have enough outdoor seating, and I know some of the places don't have any outdoor seating at all," said Haggerty. "So just to be able to tell some of the customers when they come pick up their food, there's tables right down the road you can sit at, in a great spot, I think is going to be very helpful for everyone."
Although there is still some snow on the ground, Haggerty says the option to have outdoor dining also helped business when dining rooms were closed for almost two months.
"We have plenty of nice days and when we couldn't have any indoor seating, it was nice to have the outdoor tables that people to go to," said Haggerty.
Restaurant owners are also optimistic about the effort because it's another safe option to support local as it gets warmer.
"What is good for Manitou Springs is good for the restaurant," said McDonough. "So I'm very supportive of doing this in downtown, just to create more foot traffic."
Customers do not need a reservation to enjoy a meal at a takeout table.
There are plans in place to add more takeout tables to another nearby park soon. The Manitou Springs Creative District is taking monetary donations or donated patio dining. They can be reached by calling 719-315-5338 or emailing email@example.com