When the City and County of Denver announced on May 27, that restaurants and bars could expand onto the nearby sidewalks, streets and parking lots to keep in social distancing guidelines, the RiNo Art District took notes.
There are 25 RiNo restaurants and bars working to expand their patio seating for the summer and fall months. While many of the food service businesses have already expanded their premises, RiNo will help others by blocking sections of the district’s streets to accommodate outdoor diners and social distancing rules.
These plans include new patio seating for up to three months. According to Tracy Wiel, executive director and co-founder of RiNo Art District, walking and bike lanes will move to the middle of the closed streets.
The new closures include Larimer Street between 27th and 28th and 29th and 30th, 25th Street between Larimer and Lawrence, and 35th Street between Wazee and Wynkoop. Weil said closures will begin later this week.
“We are delighted to support local businesses during this difficult time and also to reduce the dominance of cars and create a more pedestrian-friendly environment,” said John Deffenbaugh, RiNo Art District projects director. “European style outdoor cafe culture is coming to Denver.”
The RiNo Art District encompasses five Denver neighborhoods, Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points and Cole. What started as a grassroots movement of local artists, has over 100 independently owned small businesses, restaurants, art galleries, retail shops and more.