PUEBLO — Driving down Union street, noticeably new attractions line the sidewalks.
Papa Jose's and Tsunami Sushi Bar are two of the first restaurants in Pueblo to have their new patios, furniture, and outdoor heaters installed on Thursday.
The city of Pueblo is funding these new additions hoping to keep local restaurants afloat during the pandemic.
"The mayor came to me about two or three months ago and asked if we would like an outdoor patio," said Owner of Papa Jose's Michael Pacheco. "Of course I said - Great! That would be a wonderful thing for us!”
The project is being funded through the COVID-19 CARES ACT funds. A total of $205,463 of the funds have been spent to provide eight different local restaurants with outdoor-dining resources. According to one person in downtown Pueblo today, the money spent "was a wise investment."
Teresa Perelta said, “Pueblo's a very small, tight community. A lot of it is supported by small businesses. By helping those small businesses out, it not only ensures that their businesses stay around, but that people stay employed, which is very important for our community.”
Restaurant were required to apply for the parklets project. "Parklets" are are extensions of the sidewalk or patios into the front parking spaces for sidewalk cafes/outdoor dining. According to a statement from the Project Manager Bill Zwick, "some restaurants that applied for parklets decided not to participate".
The Patios are being provided through two companies: Western Precision Manufacturing and Colorado Parklets. Both companies are local to Colorado, although Zwick says the city went on a "Nationwide search" for providers. According to Pacheco, the instillation process took between four and six hours.
"It went pretty smooth. The company knew what they were doing and they did a good job getting them in.”
Papa Jose's plans to begin offering outdoor dining "as soon as the weather cooperates." Below is a list of all of the restaurants who will be participating in the project, as well as a link to their website.
- Tsunami Sushi Grill
- Papa Jose’s
- Senate Bar and Grill
- Grind Hous Café
- Bite ME Cake Company
- Hopscotch Bakery
- Colorado Taproom
As of right now, the city says there are no more opportunities for other restaurants to receive parklets, but they are working towards a potential parklet lease program in the future.