Outdoor dining on Main Street has been extended from now through the summer. Dining has expanded to parking lots, sidewalks, on-street and private patios. In addition to the restaurants on Main Street, more than 40 other eateries are offering outdoor dining across the city.
In July 2021, the City of Bellevue announced that they were extending support to restaurants located on and near Main Street in Old Bellevue. The expanded patio dining program was designed to support local restaurants during a period of significantly lower revenue and seating capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 2020, the Bellevue Downtown Association and the City of Bellevue worked hard to streamline permitting and identify spaces where businesses could expand their dining where the environment was safer for customers.
According to an article recently published by the Downtown Bellevue Association, this year, in partnership with Microsoft, the “Al Fresco” program is returning to the Heart of Bellevue to offer outdoor dining options in downtown Bellevue and beyond.
“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.”
Originally, a survey went out to all residents regarding the dining expansion program. More than 70% of respondents were supportive of it, and 80% had responded with positive feedback saying that they were more likely to return to the Main Street area with patio dining available. Main Street restaurants reported that this has had a huge economic benefit.