Proposal to expand outdoor seating for downtown restaurants in the works

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 20:59:03-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — As restaurants in downtown Colorado Springs work to get back to normal there's a proposal in the works to allow for more outdoor seating.

Not only are restaurants still dealing with limited capacity and other restrictions, they're also trying to make up for two months of lost revenue.

It's why Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs along with the city is working on a program to help restaurants move forward to get back to 100% capacity and boost those revenue numbers. The program is looking at spaces that haven't been used in the past for expanded outdoor seating. Part of the proposal is concentrating on two different restaurant blocks all on Tejon: one is between Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenue, and the other is between Bijou and Platte. The idea is to do a temporary closure of these blocks from a Friday afternoon to a Saturday evening.

Alex Armani-Munn, economic development specialist for Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, said, "That looks like expanding sidewalk patios, looking at some alleyway space, and even looking at adjacent properties that maybe had an inactive patio at a time of day when a neighboring business could really take advantage of that."

Armani-Munn shared that on-street dining is also being proposed. Another option being considered - using private parking lots for more outdoor seating, something a few businesses have expressed interest in.

We're told there's no set date yet on when the expanded outdoor seating will happen. A special event permit application with the city still needs to be approved.