The City of Covington has expanded its outdoor dining program to provide additional seating to restaurants and bars in the Roebling Point and Duveneck Square areas as per an emergency executive order signed by Mayor Joe Meyer.
Seven restaurants — Smoke Justis, Molly Malone’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Keystone Bar & Grill, Parlor on Seventh, Braxton Brewing Co., McK’s Chicks and Rich’s Proper Food & Drink — will see expanded temporary seating due to an assortment of lane closures, the removal of 15-minute parking spots and relocation of other parking (sometimes just during the nighttime) on Court Street, Park Place and Seventh Street between Washington Street and Madison Avenue.
“The City is committed to using some public space, where possible, to help its small businesses survive,” said Economic Development Director Tom West. “The pandemic has limited indoor seating, so we’re continuing to look for ways to expand ‘safe’ outdoor options.”
Covington's Public Works Department has been installing those now common orange barriers to demarcate the new patio seating, which should be operational by this weekend.
“Speaking for the restaurants, they appreciate the City’s collaboration on this,” said Josh Rhodes, a former restaurant manager who is working for the city as go-between with restaurant and bar owners during the pandemic. “It’s not being too dramatic to say this is a matter of survival for them. Even in a so-called ‘normal’ year, the summer season is always a critical time where they make the revenue that supports them the rest of the year. The pandemic has added to the urgency and anxiety. Expanding table space will be a big help.”
Any changes to the urban fabric were evaluated against concerns including traffic flow, public safety, walkability, parking space, residential impact and more.
All restaurants and bars participating in the program have to provide their own tables and chairs, and all patrons utilizing the space must be seated — the outdoor dining area cannot be used as a waiting or congregating spot.
Temporary dining spaces must close by 10 p.m., according to the mayor's order, and will be allowed to operate ongoing until another executive order is signed that will close them.
You can read all the details in the full order at covingtonky.gov.