Fairfax City’s Main Street becomes outdoor dining

Parts of Main Street and University Drive in Fairfax City, Virginia, have been turned into an outdoor dining area. (Courtesy Fairfax City Economic Development Authority/ Fairfax City)

Fairfax City and the Fairfax City Economic Development Authority have created City Square, turning parts of Main Street and University Drive into an outdoor dining area for Old Town Fairfax restaurants in Virginia.

City Square is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day this summer and includes a total of six outdoor seating areas.

Four of those areas are designated for specific restaurants — East Wind, Havabite, Bellissimo and Eerkin’s — with the others available for anyone who buys takeout from other restaurants, including Auld Shebeen, Sister’s Thai, High Side, Caribbean Corner, De Clieu Coffee, Bar and Old Firestation.

Neither street is completely closed to traffic. The dining areas take up one lane on parts of both streets adjacent to restaurants.

Fairfax City is footing the bill for City Square, using the city’s allocation of federal CARES Act relief funding, and has provided all the dining fixtures for the restaurants.

A sign with the rules for Fairfax City’s City Square eating area. (Courtesy Fairfax City Economic Development Authority/ Fairfax City)

Several neighborhoods across the D.C. region are experimenting with extended outdoor dining areas for restaurants using partial street closures, called “Streateries.”

The Dupont Circle Business Improvement District has sponsored two, in the 1500 block of 19th Street and the 1600 block of 20th Street.

The Adams Morgan BID sponsored an outdoor dining expansion last weekend, which closed a portion of 18th Street to traffic, and is finalizing plans for future closures.

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has closed a half-dozen block-long stretches of side streets for outdoor dining expansion for restaurants, including in Bethesda, Rockville and Silver Spring.

In Tysons, Virginia, the mixed-use development The Boro is temporarily closing Boro Place, its restaurant and retail area, to traffic on weekends for outdoor dining.

The Georgetown BID is currently finalizing plans with the District Department of Transportation for temporary street closures on side streets for expanded outdoor dining.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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