Bellevue's Al Fresco Dining Ends September 18, City Seeks Feedback for 2023
As we approach the fall, the cooler temperatures and shifting weather mean the on-street dining areas created as part of theCity’s “Al Fresco” program along Main Street in Bellevue will soon close. These expanded outdoor dining areas placed in parking stalls will close after dinner service on Sunday, Sept. 18. Patios located on sidewalks will generally remain open as long as weather and demand allows.
The city encourages residents and businesses to enjoy the spaces before the weather turns, thentake a survey to help the city and its partners improve the experience of this program.
“Supporting small businesses is important for a thriving downtown community,” said Patrick Bannon, Bellevue Downtown Association president. “It was inspiring to see al fresco dining become a favorite summer activity for so many people.”
The on-street dining spaces were made possible by a close partnership between the City of Bellevue, the BDA and the Old Bellevue Merchants’ Association, with sponsorship support from Microsoft. In addition to the five on-street spaces on Main Street, the Heart of Bellevue Al Fresco program promoted more than 40 other restaurants with outdoor dining across the city.
“As a resident of Downtown Bellevue, I have found great joy in the outdoor dining spaces on Main Street,” said Mayor Lynne Robinson. “I am glad to have found a way to move these restaurant spaces forward as an ongoing feature of our community.”
The city is seeking feedback on the Main Street dining spaces, to better understand how residents, business owners and visitors have used them. This will help inform how the city can help businesses and create more vibrant streetscapes in the future. Previous surveys have demonstrated the economic benefit of these types of spaces, with more than 80% of respondents saying the patio areas make them more likely to visit Main Street again in the future.
“Residents and workers alike are craving more of these types of experiences,” said Jesse Canedo, chief economic development officer. “Our intention is for extended outdoor dining on Main Street to be just a first step on our journey to more actively programming our public spaces.”
Residents and businesses can learn more about the city’s outdoor dining program and complete the program survey at engagingbellevue.com/outdoor-dining. In addition, restaurant operators can visit Outdoor Dining to learn more about outdoor options over the winter months.