Main Street Alfresco

People dine outside Taverna during the “Main Street Alfresco” event on July 29.

Following the success of the Main Street Alfresco events this summer, Newark officials announced Thursday they are adding seven fall dates to the schedule.

Officials will close Main Street for outdoor dining every Wednesday from Sept. 16 through Oct. 28. The events will run from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

“We've had pretty much a non-stop flow of calls from Main Street restaurants over the last week or so asking us to continue the alfresco events through the fall until it's too cold," City Manager Tom Coleman said.

Mayor Jerry Clifton said he continues to see a high demand for outdoor seating at downtown restaurants.

“I went to dinner at a restaurant Friday night on an outside deck with some friends, and everyone was socially distanced, everyone was doing the right thing," Clifton said. "But I'll tell you, there were no seats left on the deck, but there was nobody inside. So that was kind of a chilling message to me the direction we need to take."

Main Street will be shut down between Chapel Street and South College Avenue, and restaurants will expand their outdoor seating into the street in order to provide more people the opportunity to eat outside, which experts say is safer than eating indoors during the pandemic.

Reservations are suggested. Parking is available in municipal lots #1 (behind Grotto Pizza), #4 (behind Walgreens), #6 (behind the University of Delaware bookstore) and #7 (behind Starbucks and the former Simon Eye building), which are accessible via Delaware Avenue, Center Street and Haines Street. Regular parking fees will be enforced.

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