Visalia, Hanford restaurants open with outdoor dining

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Parking spots have turned into dining rooms in downtown Visalia in hopes that it'll help bring some much-needed business to restaurants.

Concrete rails along Main Street allow restaurants to set up tables while keeping the street open.

Vice Mayor Steve Nelson is with the group Downtown Visalians, and says the new measure has allowed at least fifteen restaurants to expand.

"They're able to bring more employees and stay on business. The K-rails will stay in place seven days a week until the governor gives approval to go back inside," says Nelson.

The manager at Sequoia Brewing Company says financially, it's been tough for local businesses, but this is a boost.

A short drive away in Hanford, a portion of 7th street is closed to allow restaurants to serve more customers.

Michelle Brown of a non-profit called Main Street Hanford says their permit will allow them to close a portion of the road on Fridays.

All restaurant owners have to do is bring the tables, and clear them out at the end of the night.

"We have social distancing markers, we have the tables spread apart, we ask patrons to put their masks if they're inside or can't social distance," says Brown.

It's not just restaurants taking advantage of the road closure.

Nearby businesses like coffee shops and boutiques are staying open longer to take advantage of the extra foot traffic.

Brown says while they can't afford to close the road all week, she hopes this will help out restaurant owners until indoor service is allowed to return.
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