Pleasantville officials will close a portion of Wheeler Avenue for part of this Saturday to offer outdoor dining and help the village’s restaurant owners start recovering from the devastating shutdown of the economy.
More than a dozen participants logged on to a virtual Pleasantville Village Board last week, including restaurant owners and residents who discussed a variety of ideas to help the village’s restaurants regain their footing.
Village officials will hold a live-streamed public hearing Monday night to revise language in the code that could bring outdoor dining on sidewalks and other public spaces in areas of the village where it can be accommodated.
“The question is what should be closed, when should we close it and how often should we close it,” said Mayor Peter Scherer.
This Saturday, June 20, about half of Wheeler Avenue will be closed between 4 and 10 p.m. from Manville Road to Soul Brewing Company. This will allow restaurants on Wheeler Avenue to use the northern side of the street and Jackson Alley to place tables and chairs.
The parking lot between Holy Innocents Church and Grand Central Bagel Café, which exits onto Wheeler next to Soul Brewing, will remain open from that location to the corner of Bedford Road.
Scherer said the upcoming late Saturday afternoon and evening dining on Wheeler Avenue will be an experiment, and if all goes well it could be tried again.
“This is a gradual exploration of having outdoor seating,” he said. “We are taking incremental steps to help these folks to be financially viable.”
To create space for tables and seats, the village will erect concrete barriers to block out three parking spaces near Soul Brewery and Dolphin South Trattoria.
Concrete barriers will block five parking spots on Washington Avenue in front of Vela Kitchen and Tape Measure.
The estimated cost for the barriers and police overtime is $25,000.
The village will also consider seating at the civic space at Memorial Plaza where anyone can dine with food purchased from any restaurant. Other areas such as the wide sidewalk on Route 117 in the Old Village near Craft Pizza and Beer could also be used, Scherer said.
The village will communicate new parking rules and limits before Saturday.
Until last Tuesday when the Mid-Hudson region entered Phase 2, restaurants had been closed since mid-March except for pickup and delivery orders.
In time for Phase 2, the state moved to allow restaurants to put tables outside for their patrons. State guidelines limit occupancy to 50 percent, require masks be worn by staff and customers, and tables to be at last six feet apart.
Monday’s live-streamed public hearing will solicit comments to adjust the Village Code to allow for the expansion of outdoor retail sales, gym operations, personal care services and dining areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. To tune into the hearing, visit