dots First Street
Michael Whitney photo
City of Snohomish economic development manager Wendy Poischbeg (right) and contractor Rocky Kahanu of Security Contractor Services put up more barricades along
First Street Tuesday, Aug. 4. They also put up barricades in front of Piccola Pizza that morning. The first barricades went up in late July. These are to open space for
more outdoor dining to help meet Gov. Jay Inslee’s coronavirus-related requirements.
SNOHOMISH — Quickly, barricades went up to make temporary dining areas along parts of First Street.
It is a workaround solution in response to the governor’s tightened rules on restaurants that now only allow members of the same household to sit at restaurant tables inside.
Kasia Kim, the owner and vintner at Kasia Winery, called the city immediately after the rules were announced, and might have been first. The rule change implemented July 30 bans indoor service at breweries, wineries, distilleries and similar.
Kim is grateful how swiftly the city acted. “When (Gov. Jay Inslee) finished, it was ‘oh boy’,” Kim said. Within two hours, barricades went up outside Kasia. Kim was able to borrow a tent, and soon after set up six tables for people to try her selection of eight wines.
Without the tables, “it would have been very hard to do business,” Kim said.
Most of the block has barricades to aid the Oxford, Who’s on First and more. Other blocks have outdoor sections, too, protruding into the street to allow table service.
It’s been a hit, city economic development manager Wendy Poischbeg said.
She said the barriers will stay in place until Labor Day while the weather is nice.
Last Tuesday morning, Poischbeg helped lug the metal barriers into place between Avenues B and C which has Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse, Cathouse Pizza and Piccadilly Circus.
Fred’s owner, Mark “Chewey” Nuss, said he’s glad they’re up, but wanted to wait to see how the weekend crowd takes to it to say how well it is going.
On drive-bys, the Tribune saw people having lunch in the corralled areas of most restaurants, and saw that the late-dinner crowd filled most of the available tables.
The city fenced off areas for restaurants without an outdoor patio, Poischbeg said.
Poischbeg said she and Mayor John Kartak met with 80 percent of the merchants to decide on a balance between dining areas and parking stalls. People will be told to park on the west side of Avenue D and walk into the shopping area — albeit the side streets were noticeably more full of parked cars last Wednesday evening.
First Street’s curbside pick-up parking spaces the city introduced in April were going to be pulled altogether because of available space, but some have been kept.
The barriers take three spaces each; they’re typically seen for crowd control at concerts.
The city’s federal grant money from the CARES Act paid for the barricades, Poischbeg said.
Everett arranges similar “Streatery” program
In the middle of last week, Everett launched its “Streatery” program for businesses in the city. There’s no charge to get a city permit for outdoor dining under the program. The city will deliver fencing to the restaurant. The program runs to Oct. 31.
As of Friday, Aug. 7, six businesses signed up within 48 hours of the program being announced, city spokesman Julio Cortes said.
See everettwa.gov/streatery for the application link.
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