'Dine Out Downtown' closes part of Glenwood South on Saturday for street dining

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Diners can take to Glenwood Avenue to eat on Saturday.

It's part of "Dine Out Downtown."

Glenwood will be closed from Jones to North streets from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

According to the Glenwood South Neighborhood Collaborative, there are 10 restaurants in the two blocks.

Restaurants will expand their seating onto the street in the same way Durham has done with the "Streetery."

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is helping to bring in 250 chairs for table service.

"It's going to be a gorgeous day," said Larry Miller, president of the collaborative. "They can come down here, have lunch, have dinner and feel safe out on the street."

Miller said they hope it will encourage restaurants to apply for additional outdoor seating.

"Things are picking up," he said. "It's not like it was pre-pandemic, but here on Glenwood South the traffic on the street has increased gradually. Most people are safe and wear masks here. It's a gradual process."

Some of the restaurants within the street closure include the Hibernian, Sushi-O and Tin Roof.

Wes Alexander, general manager at Hibernian said the business is at 50% capacity and said it kills 30% of his business not being open from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.

"Anything to have more people in here is a good thing," Alexander said of the "Dine Out Downtown initiative. "It's a good thing, but it is frustrating to have to close a little bit early, but it is ... we'll take whatever we can get."

John Tang of Sushi O Bistro said the pandemic threw him for a loop and he needed to retrain and find new ways to be as efficient as possible

"It's been very stressful. There's new stuff we have to learn," Tang said. "This is a full service restaurant so with the shutdown obviously just curbside, we were not prepared for that."

Still, restaurant owners are grateful for any creative ways to attract diners.

"I'd like to do it every weekend if we could," Alexander said. "I'd take those six tables every weekend."
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