Outdoor seating at restaurants across Montgomery County, Maryland, has expanded as officials try to enforce social distancing, while allowing for businesses to reopen.
One program called “Streetdine” began Friday, June 12, in Silver Spring, along with a similar initiative by the City of Takoma Park called “Takoma Streetery.”
Some restaurants will be serving meals to outdoor tables, while others will have diners order takeout meals and then offer them table space to enjoy those meals, according to the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.
In Silver Spring, the north bound right lanes of Georgia Avenue are closed to traffic, from Silver Spring Avenue to Thayer Avenue, as the adjacent sidewalk are lined with tables and chairs to welcome customers.
In Takoma Park, the northbound side of Laurel Avenue, between Carroll Avenue and Eastern Avenue NW, is closed as the adjacent sidewalk is used for outdoor seating and the closed roadway is designated for pedestrians, as well as curbside pickup.
Takoma Park’s U.S. Post Office on Laurel Avenue continues normal operations and the Sunday farmer’s market will continue on Laurel Avenue, according to the City of Takoma Park.
“Streetdine” is a collaborative effort between a number of agencies, including the Silver Spring Urban District and the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The “Bethesda Streetery” opened on Wednesday, allowing restaurants there to have more space for outdoor seating as coronavirus restrictions continue to put limits on dining indoors.
Rockville began it’s outdoor dining program last week and has expanded outdoor seating along Gibbs Street, between East Middle Lane and Beall Avenue.
Social distancing will still be enforced and dinners are encouraged to make reservations.
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The county will allow indoor seating at 50% capacity once Phase Two begins there sometime next week, following an executive order by Gov. Larry Hogan that allows restaurants across much of the state to begin indoor dining at half-capacity.
The exceptions to that order are Prince George’s County, which will start its Phase Two reopenings on Monday, and Montgomery County.