Curbside Wilmington worked so well to drive diners to Market Street restaurants that the city is launching Dine on Delaware for Trolley Square.
This Delaware means Delaware Avenue.
The effort to support restaurants starts Friday, and will shut down parts of the street from 4 p.m. on Fridays through 10 p.m. on Sundays, weather permitting, each weekend into the fall.
It will mean the closure of Delaware Avenue between North Clayton and North DuPont street as well as North DuPont Street and North Scott Street as dining tables are set up curb to curb.
Organizer Joe McCoy said Friday afternoon that he was outside in the sun arranging tables and kegs.
Curbside Wilmington launched in June, shutting down the 800 block of Market Street to help businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. The weekly block party is now set to last through the first Friday of September, which is also Labor Day weekend. Curbside allowed some of the restaurants to put seating in parking spaces.
Market Street restaurant owners said it had brought them a lot of business, helped to make Fridays their highest revenue days, and that it had brought a lot of energy downtown.
Just like their counterparts, participating Trolley restaurants will be able to offer more seating at safely spaced distances, but will still be required to follow state guidelines.
Participating restaurants include Catherine Rooney’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Trolley Tap House, Island Fin Poke, Gianni’s Pizza, Cafe Verdi, Kelly’s Logan House, Trolley Square Oyster House, Bar Roja and Crow Bar.
Mayor Mike Purzycki said in a press release that he was happy to support another vibrant area of the city by expanding Curbside Wilmington with the help of Councilmember Charles “Bud” Freel, Downtown Visions and the Committee of 100.
McCoy thanked the city in the release.
“We’re all excited to offer safe outdoor dining to everyone coming into Trolley Square on the weekends now and into the fall,” he said.
Delaware Avenue will be closed at Clayton, DuPont, and Scott streets, though cross traffic will continue to flow across the avenue from each of these streets. Barricades and signage will be established at all three locations.
Motorists who aren’t dining there are encouraged to select alternate routes and avoid the area on weekends from 4 p.m. Fridays until 10 p.m. on Sundays. The City’s website contains a real-time map that is updated daily so people can follow traffic changes in the coming days.