Dine Out Downtown launches June 20 with a beta test of on-street dining

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Tejon Street gets closed annually for a variety of events. Now, on weekends through summer, it'll close for on-street dining. - DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP
  • Downtown Partnership
  • Tejon Street gets closed annually for a variety of events. Now, on weekends through summer, it'll close for on-street dining.

The Downtown Partnership has been working for months now on plans to assist restaurants and bars during the continued pandemic period. Once restrictions were eased enough for on-site dining, they aimed to provide additional seating al fresco to address the limited indoor capacities mandated by the state. That included efforts by the City to expedite permits and waive typical fees to expand patio seating and sidewalk seating, as well as relax liquor laws and adhere to ADA laws.

For years residents have suggested that some segment of Tejon Street be turned into a pedestrian mall, but DP President & CEO Susan Edmondson — in a chat we had several weeks ago leading up to this announcement — says the vast majority of them attempted in larger cities have failed. She cited factors such as our density (not enough), transit and a robust walking and biking network. Those that have succeeded, she notes, tend to share factors such as being close to a beach or university.

But that said, the City does close segments of Tejon Street for a variety of annual events. And now, the Partnership has announced weekend street closures between Pikes Peak and Colorado Avenues along Tejon Street beginning Saturday, June 20. Participating restaurants on that block will be allowed to serve guests seated throughout the street. Presuming all goes well, the Partnership says service hours or days may expand, and another block of dining may be added should more restaurants wish to participate.


Here's more info from the full press release:
Dine Out Downtown offers on-street dining in the heart of the city

One block of South Tejon Street will close Saturday evening, June 20, to allow for outdoor dining as a “soft” launch to Dine Out Downtown, a summertime program by Downtown Partnership to expand outdoor dining in Downtown Colorado Springs.

The block of South Tejon Street between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues will be closed to vehicular traffic Saturday afternoon and evening as participating restaurants provide service to dinner patrons in the street.

Beginning June 26-27 and weekends thereafter, the block will close for outdoor dining from Friday afternoons through Saturday nights. Patrons must have a reservation and be seated by the host of the restaurant; walk-up reservations are accepted.

The June 20 street closure is a beta test, and hours or days may evolve throughout the summer based on the desires of diners and participating restaurants. This block was chosen due to the high concentration of food services that wished to participate. An additional block of street dining service may be added if enough restaurants collectively participate.

Recognizing that many patrons may prefer outdoor dining this summer due to the coronavirus, Downtown Partnership initiated efforts to expand outdoor seating several weeks ago. The City of Colorado Springs has supported such efforts through waiving of permit fees and expedited reviews. The ability to expand dining into streets was eased just over a week ago through an Executive Order to the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division.

“Dining in the streets is a great way to enjoy our wonderful Colorado sunshine while supporting Downtown’s independently owned restaurants,” said Susan Edmondson, President & CEO of Downtown Partnership. “We’ve worked closely with restaurants, city staff, the state and El Paso County Health to provide a fun new way to dine Downtown.”

Many Downtown restaurants have added outdoor seating capacity in recent weeks with expansion of their patio areas. City Planning & Community Development Department has processed permits for over 15,000 square feet of expanded sidewalk, alley and surface parking areas Downtown, and nearly an acre of additional outdoor seating citywide. To date, about 15 Downtown restaurants have been supported by Downtown Partnership in securing temporary and revocable permits to expand outdoor seating – in addition to the restaurants participating in the Dine Out Downtown street dining program.

Dine Out Downtown:
Soft launch: 4-10 pm Saturday, June 20, in the 00 block of South Tejon Street (Tejon from Colorado to Pike Peak avenues).
Participating restaurants: Colorado Craft Tejon Street Social, Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub, Jimmy John’s (downtown), Marco’s Pizza (downtown), and Red Gravy. Jax Fish House plans to join the following weekend and thereafter.
Regular operating hours: 4-10 pm Fridays and 10 am-10 pm Saturdays; June 26-27 and continuing weekends through summer

Know before you go:
Dining by reservation only; walk-up reservations OK. No public seating; patrons MUST check in and be seated by restaurant host.
In the event of inclement weather, restaurants may not be able to guarantee capacity to seat diners inside.

Participating restaurants:
Restaurant participation may change throughout the summer; updates are listed online.

Traffic Impacts:
Tejon Street will be closed between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues; Pikes Peak and Colorado will remain open to through traffic.

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