Blacksburg Town Council will grant outdoor dining licenses to businesses along the new promenade downtown at its 7:30 meeting tonight.
10 restaurants applied, including Moe's Southwest Grill, Green's, Rita's, Happy Wok, Gobble Cakes, Gillie's Restaurant, Souvlaki, Jimmy John's, Top Of The Stairs and The Cellar Restaurant. The Cellar currently has outdoor dining but also applied to be in compliance with the new requirements, town officials say.
At least two businesses, Rita's and Gobble Cakes, already have tables and chairs for outside. They can't begin open air dining until after council approves it and verifies compliance-- including having insurance and signing the agreement with the town. If the restaurants have insurance right now, they can begin offering the outdoor dining option once council gives its blanket approval Tuesday.
"I feel like having outdoor dining is going to A, give us five to six more tables outside with probably 20 more seats which is added income," explained Mike Buchanan of Souvlaki. "It gives people a chance to get downtown and experience downtown. We always have issues getting young people downtown. Hopefully this will get young people downtown and older people downtown as well to enjoy outside dining."
Buchanan says the outdoor dining license does not cover alcohol and that he and other business owners will have to get a separate license to be able to serve beer and wine outside their front door.