Scott McEntire and Jim Coe enjoy a drink and lunch in an outdoor seating tent at the Salish Sea Brewing Co. along Dayton Street on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Scott McEntire and Jim Coe enjoy a drink and lunch in an outdoor seating tent at the Salish Sea Brewing Co. along Dayton Street on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020 in Edmonds, Washington. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Downtown Bellevue to expand support of outdoor dining for the Summer

A continuation of last year’s “Al Fresco,” program.

The City of Bellevue is planning to expand its support of outdoor dining at local businesses in preparation for the Summer weather.

Outdoor dining has been a key component to many restaurants continuing their operations under COVID-19 capacity restrictions.

During 2020, the city worked to streamline permitting and identify creative spaces where

businesses could safely expand their operating footprint and welcome more customers while

staying within health and safety rules.

This year, in partnership with the Bellevue Downtown Association and Microsoft, the program will again offer more outdoor dining options in downtown Bellevue and beyond.

The latest “Al Fresco” outdoor dining program runs now through the summer, promoting on-street, sidewalk, parking lot, and private property patios together as tools to support restaurants.

In addition to the collective on-street expansion of space on Main Street, more than 40 other restaurants are participating across the city.

“It was encouraging to see the success and support of the outdoor dining program last year, both for local businesses and for patrons looking to enjoy Bellevue while safely dining and shopping,” said Mayor Lynne Robinson. “I’m really looking forward to taking part again this year and want to thank our community partners who are back to support this program as an important component of our return to full capacity.”

The original, ten-week program that launched in August 2020 resulted in overwhelmingly positive feedback from restaurants and residents, giving organizers confidence it could again be effective and even expanded.

“After we saw the success of last year’s Al Fresco program, we’re excited to bring it back and

promote even more participating businesses,” Patrick Bannon, president of the Bellevue Downtown Association, said. “This is a great way to support our local restaurants and retailers.”

For more information and a full list of participating businesses, visit bellevuedowntown.com.

Businesses interested in participating in the program can find options and resources at

bellevuewa.gov/outdoor-dining. Program details for customers and a map of participating restaurants are available on the BDA’s website.


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