San Mateo has become the latest Peninsula city eyeing the possibility of closing certain streets to allow outdoor spaces for restaurants to serve customers.
Also being considered in Redwood City and San Carlos, the concept aims to boost economic activity for local businesses impacted the shelter-in-place order.
San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals mentioned the possibility of doing this on B Street and 25th Avenue, among other streets, and also other open space opportunities like parklets. Goethals said at least three restaurant owners are “very supportive of the idea.” The mayor, Councilmember Eric Rodriguez and city staff will explore it further in the coming days.
“You got to make sure they can serve alcohol outside,” the mayor told staff. “It’s an important part of this if we’re going to keep them in business.”
Climate recently reported how Broadway in Redwood City and Laurel Street in San Carlos are among streets that may soon become spacious outdoor cafes. Ideas include providing rent-free outdoor spaces with tables to every local restaurant, and spacing them out to promote proper social distancing.
Councilmember Giselle Hale said the proposal would provided a much-needed boost to restaurants that re-open with reduced indoor seating due to social distancing requirements.
On social media, Hale shared a CNN report about a city in Lithuania that has implemented a similar plan.