Petersburg gives restaurant, bar owners way to expand seating during COVID-19 pandemic

Petersburg gives restaurant and bar owners way to expand seating during COVID-19 outbreak

PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Businesses in Petersburg are expanding beyond their existing walls and patios.

The city closed off a portion of Sycamore Street and opened its new outdoor seating area with 40 picnic tables in hopes to make up for the revenue lost by COVID-19.

“We wanted to see how we can be an asset as a city," said Mayor of Petersburg, Sam Parham. “We love our restaurants down here and we’re staying with them during this tough time..it’s the least we can do.”

The tables give businesses about 2-4 people per table.

“This gives them the sense of hope that they need and overcoming lackluster sales,” said Parham.

Petersburg opens new outdoor seating on sycamore st.
Petersburg opens new outdoor seating on sycamore st. (Source: NBC12)

“This is magic,” said the owner of Boppers Malt Shop, Craig Richards. “We’re one cause, one purpose and one direction.”

For business owner Craig Richards, he says this is a testament to the city as he and several other business owners presented this idea to the city less than a month ago.

“We put the program together and presented it to the city and the worked rapidly,” said Richards.

Coming together as one, both the city and the community worked as a team.

“People can get out of the house and enjoy the city...this is a treat, this is a destination,” said Richards.

The city says they wanted to prove that they stand 100% behind their business and hopes this helps ease the process of reopening in compliance as the state moves forward with Phase 1.

“They are a vital part of our economy here in the city,” said Parham.

“They are in your corner and they become part of your family when they act like this. I had nothing but pride for what the city has done,” said Richards.

The tables will be set up until Phase 3 but the mayor says he’s open to keeping them permanently if things go better than planned and everything is a success.

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