Restaurants across the city have taken advantage of the CaféTO program to expand patios by using public spaces, sidewalks and parking lots to allow for physical distancing for their patrons. One area of the city that has an advantage is the Distillery District. The area is closed to vehicle traffic, so the district has transformed Trinity Street and the courtyard into a European-style seating area that is fully licensed.
There are 12 patios in the area with a total of 250 tables that will allow approximately 1,000 guests to sit outside, enjoy a meal, and have a drink while maintaining appropriate physical distance from other guests. Two of the restaurants, Madrina and El Catrin, have also set up grab-and-go patio stations. At Madrina, patrons can snack on Spanish-style street food, while at El Catrin it is tacos, tortas, and botanas on offer.
Other restaurants in the area with open patios are Cluny Bistro, Pure Spirits, Mill Street and Boku. There are also local coffee shops such as Balzac’s and bakeries such as Brick Street and The Sweet Escape. These changes will make the Distillery District the largest patio district in the city.
The outdoor art exhibit kicked off on July 2. The open-air art exhibit features installations by Scott Froschauer throughout the district as well as COVID-19-inspired art pieces about social distancing and hygiene. The district has also installed street signs that typically say “Stop” or “Do Not Enter” with signs that have positive affirmations instead.
Apart from the food and drink offerings, the Distillery’s retailers are also open for business. There are giant illuminated letters spelling “Local” in the middle of the district to remind visitors of the independent boutiques and artisans operating in the area.