Newark plans to keep al fresco dining along Main Street through the fall

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) -- Outdoor dining has been a lifeline to restaurants struggling to get through this COVID-19. It's also given diners more opportunities to resume a sense of normalcy, depending on their comfort level.

In Newark, Delaware, they're expanding a successful program that's become a boom for business every Wednesday.

Newark started its Main Street Al Fresco program over the summer. They say the turnout has been wildly successful, so they're extending it into the fall.

"I have been told that Wednesday nights are huge nights, better than even some weekend nights," says Jerry Clifton, the mayor of Newark. "It's important that we continue this. We plan on continuing it, weather permitting, into the end of October every Wednesday night."

At least 20 businesses are participating.

DelDOT closes off Main Street to let those eateries expand their outdoor dining capacity, free of traffic.

There's live music and a chance for business owners to profit in these hard times.

Caffe Gelato says they're doing double the business.

"It has made all of the difference for us," says Ryan German, the owner of Caffe Gelato. "Wednesday nights have been our busiest nights since COVID-19. I know that rings true for the 20 other businesses participating."

Many of the restaurants are also looking for patio heaters for the cooler nights. They say they are hard to find because demand is high.
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