Mayor issues emergency order to help restaurants, bars

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The city has a plan to help bars and restaurants that plan to reopen with outdoor dining.

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen issued Emergency Order 20-18. The three-pronged order covers an expansion of city’s Outdoor Cafe program, the use of private owned parking lots, and a new program called ‘Picnic Parks.’

The Outdoor Cafe program expansion will allow bars and restaurants to sell food and drinks on public outdoor spaces near their business. These areas include certain sidewalks, streets, loading zones and parking spaces. These will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day, and people will be able to eat and drink there.

Another part of the order allows restaurants and bars who have privately owned parking lots or other unused outdoor space to temporarily use those ares. People will be able to buy and eat food and drink there. Those will also be available from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

As for ‘Picnic Parks,’ these will be set up on several streets for people to eat food they purchase at downtown restaurants. These areas include:

• Chester Street between Walnut Street and University Avenue.
• Eastern section of Park Avenue between Neil Street and Randolph Street.
• Southern section of the City parking lot at Neil Street and Washington Street.

Work on the Picnic Parks will start this week and should be available next week. They’ll operate during lunch and dinner hours, and will close at 9:00 p.m. Alcohol will not be allowed in those areas.

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