*Update: Because of incoming inclement weather, “Eat in the Street” is moving indoors. Restaurants will accept indoor diners, though capacity is limited by coronavirus, and organizers recommend reservations. Remsen Street will stay open to allow easy access during the storm.
COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Restaurant’s were hit hard during the pandemic and now the city of Cohoes is looking to help make a difference for those impacted.
Now, Friday’s just got a bit tastier. The historic Remsen street is swapping out cars and traffic for dining tables and chairs to kick off their ‘Eat in the Street’ program. The city of Cohoes will close Remsen off every Friday for the next 13 weeks leading into early October.
“Our businesses are small, our restaurants are small, so going at 25% or 50% capacity, they are not making any money,” Executive Director of the Cohoes Local Development Corporation, Debbie Jacques, said. “We started talking about this in May, saying, ‘Our restaurants are shut down, what are we going to do? How can we help all the businesses?’ We said, ‘You know what, let’s shut the streets down.'”
Remsen street will be closed off from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will reopen by 10 p.m., with side streets available for traffic, as nine restaurants will take part. Co-Owner of D&L Hospitality Management, Melanie Diaz, says the extra tables and space is needed for all businesses right now.
“Give us that extra push that we need with our dining rooms operating at half capacity. It makes it difficult for us to make the 100 percent capacity income that we need to,” Diaz said. “So, it gives us the opportunity to have everybody come and enjoy our food in the streets and enjoy a good family time.”
With tents, lights and live music, New York State, CDC and social distancing guidelines are in play.
That family time mentioned is something that Jacques believes is felt all throughout the city of Cohoes.
“We miss our restaurants and the restaurant owners are like, ‘we miss our people.’ They are our family, that’s really what it has become; we have seen a lot of them open from the very beginning and from the starting stages,” Jacques said “You miss them, they’re family. That’s the thing about the small town.”
The even kicks off Friday July 10th and will run through October 2nd, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., weather permitting.
“For folks who love our downtown Cohoes restaurants and are eager to again patronize them, ‘Eat in the Street’ provides them the added enjoyment of dining al fresco,” said Cohoes Mayor Bill Keeler.
The city will close Remsen Street beginning at 3:30 p.m. for restaurants to set up on the designated Fridays. Cross streets will remain open to traffic, and parking will be clearly marked.
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