I floated an idea on Facebook last week that got over 100 positive comments. I’d like to throw it out there to Mountain Express readers for wider community feedback.
The idea would be to close Main Street after 6 p.m. on the weekends during June to allow restaurants to be able to set up dining tables in the street. As restaurants try to reconfigure their spaces to adapt to the new normal (probably having to remove 50 percent of their tables), I think European-style street dining would be a wonderful way to help the restaurants and give us an opportunity as a community to come back together in a social distancing, responsible and fun way.
I also think this idea might generate a lot of positive PR for our town and for Blaine County. I’d love to invite The New Yorker and The New York Times to come out and dine at a restaurant of their choice and show them what bouncing back and “5B strong” look like.
On a side note, I suspect that Ketchum Alive might not be feasible this summer (though I have not heard anything) but open-air dining on Main Street could potentially offer up an opportunity to have a small band play for diners.
I have contacted the majority of the restaurants on Main Street and they are all enthusiastic about the idea. The same kind of road closure/open-air dining could also be done on Washington Street between Despo’s and Lefty’s. I would be delighted to champion this idea and do a lot of the legwork to make it happen if it has community support.
Each year I help organize the Halloween Nightmare on Main Street party and I think a fitting name for the first open-air dining event, assuming we could make it happen, would be The End of the Nightmare Party!
Please feel free to e-mail with your thoughts at email@example.com.