COLORADO SPRINGS — One block of South Tejon Street will close Saturday evening, June 20, to allow for outdoor dining.
It's a "soft" launch for Dine Out Downtown, a summer program from the Downtown Partnership to expand outdoor dining in Colorado Springs.
Starting June 26-27, the block will close for outdoor dining from Friday afternoons through Saturday nights.
Reservations will be required and patrons will be seated by the restaurant's host. Walk-up reservations are accepted.
The Downtown Partnership chose the block between Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenues based on the high concentration of food services that wanted to be part of the program.
Another block could be added if enough restaurants choose to participate.
The Downtown Partnership began efforts to expand outdoor seating several weeks ago, understanding that many people might prefer outdoor dining this summer due to the coronavirus.
The City of Colorado Springs supported those efforts by waiving permit fees and expediting reviews. The expansion into streets was approved about a week ago through an Executive Order to the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement Divison.
"Dining in the streets is a great way to enjoy our wonderful Colorado sunshine while supporting Downtown’s independently owned restaurants,” said Susan Edmondson, President & CEO of Downtown Partnership. “We’ve worked closely with restaurants, city staff, the state, and El Paso County Health to provide a fun new way to dine Downtown.”
Many downtown restaurants have already added outdoor seating capacity in recent weeks.
The City Planning & Community Development Department said it has processed permits for more than 15,000 square feet of additional sidewalk, alley, and surface parking areas downtown, and nearly an acre of additional outdoor seating citywide.
Restaurants participating in Dine Out Downtown staring June 20 include Colorado Craft Tejon Street Social, Jack Quinn's Irish Pub, Jimmy John's (downtown), Marco's Pizza (downtown), and Red Gravy. Jax Fish House plans to join the following weekend.
The street seating will be available from 4-10 pm Fridays and 10 am-10 pm Saturdays from June 26-27 through the end of summer.
In the event of bad weather, restaurants may not be able to guarantee indoor seating capacity for diners.