City of Owensboro expands outdoor seating for restaurants

City of Owensboro expands outdoor seating for restaurants

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - During the state’s initial reopening plans, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear ordered that restaurants would be limited to only 33% indoor capacity.

In order to help local restaurants be successful during the COVID-19 reopening period, the city of Owensboro announced unlimited outdoor seating on Thursday, so restaurants could serve more customers.

During the announcement, city officials said that outdoor seating can even expand into sidewalks - with fees waived for encroachment permits in the areas.

In a Facebook Live on Thursday evening, Owensboro City Manager Nate Pagan said that restaurants could also expand seating to the space in front of other businesses, as long as these business owners give their consent to do so. The sidewalks also have to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to be used for eating.

Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson said the outdoor expansion comes as an effort for restaurants to open back up and be successful. Places like Bar Louie can’t wait to get customers back through the door.

“We’re so ready," Bar Louie General Manager Alex Barton said. “We get a lot of our guests online tell us how much they miss us. People are ready to come back and see us – their favorite bartenders, their favorite servers – so yes, we are absolutely thrilled to have a chance to do it.”

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