Streatery program to roll out on State Street July 3

No vehicles will be allowed on State Street on weekend through Aug. 23
Temporary outdoor dining at Lucille
Patrick Sweeney
One of the patios created by the streatery program is this patio on Lucille's King Street side.

As a way to help restaurants, the city of Madison started the Streatery Restaurant Recovery Program.

The program temporarily allows restaurants to expand outdoor dining onto the public sidewalks, on-street parking areas or in privately owned parking lots through an administrative approval process. The goal is to enable restaurants to expand their capacity while administering physical distancing guidelines, not to create gathering or social spaces for larger crowds or events.

The next phase of the program will be on State Street, a release says. The city will be closing State Street to all vehicular traffic for weekends starting July 3 through Aug. 23.

“The Streatery program has become a life line for many of our cherished local businesses that have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says. “The weekend State Street closures will also help local retailers and merchants in their recovery by being able to take advantage of a full pedestrian street on weekends — all while maintaining good practices to prevent community spread of COVID-19.”

Retailers who are interested on selling products on the sidewalk can do this through the Merchant Vending Program, whose fees have been waived in 2020. Restaurants and taverns can expand sidewalk cafes.

“The State Street Streatery is a direct response to requests from our local State Street businesses who have faced multiple challenges since March,” says Tiffany Kenney, executive director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District. “This particular program will also bring added exposure and opportunities to retailers, as well as restaurants along the entirety of the street.”

The program is temporary. There will be more than 50 new outdoor cafes throughout the city that will be open until the end of October. To accommodate bus schedules, the closure will be limited to Fridays starting at 6:45 p.m. and then throughout the weekend. The program will end Aug. 23.

For more on some streateries and patios that have popped up in Madison, click here. For other places to eat outdoors, click here.