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Celebrating a sense of community
For now, downtown businesses are breathing a collective sigh of relief.
“I am so happy the project is done,” said Sullivan, who hopes the celebration will nurture a sense of community similar to the Newark Nights of the past.
The city met with restaurants to suggest a schedule of dining in the street-type events. Certainly, there is a precedence. Before the pandemic, Media, Pennsylvania, closed State Street on Wednesdays for the “Dining Under the Stars” promotion.
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, held Third Thursdays in summer, during which State Street closed for extended outdoor dining. Businesses are considering resuming a similar event in July.
Curbside Wilmington allows downtown restaurants to use parking spaces for more alfresco dining.
But Newark doesn’t have many side streets to help drivers navigate a closure, Aber noted. Main Street truly is the Main Street.
There’s another reason why Newark restaurants aren’t warming up to the idea: curbside takeout. “It’s so important to us right now,” Aber said of carryout.
Sullivan worried that parking, a perpetual issue in Newark, would also present problems.
Today at 4pm, free parking will be available at city lots, as well as the Trabant University Center garage and the Lang Development Group lots at Pomeroy Station and behind Taverna and Formal Affairs. Parking will also be available at the former Burger King on South Chapel Street, which is now owned by Lang.