Last Saturday night’s experiment to allow in-the-street dining on Wheeler Avenue was viewed as a success, prompting Pleasantville officials to allow for its continuation three more times.
The Village Board passed a resolution this week approving the closure of Wheeler Avenue this Saturday, June 27 and again on July 4 and 11 from 4 to 10 p.m. The police department was authorized to post no parking signs and to tow all vehicles in violation of what will be a temporary parking restriction.
“It was a nice night overall,” Pleasantville Mayor Peter Scherer said of Saturday’s experimental alfresco dining. “It was generally successful. The restaurants I spoke to said it was good for them.”
Scherer said they are prepared to tweak the program as they respond to people’s comments.
“I thought that for the first night it was a home run,” said Village Trustee Steve Lord. “To be able to walk down Wheeler created a really cool pedestrian vibe that we can really build on.”
Pleasantville restaurant owners who put tables outside on Saturday completed permit application on the village’s website. The permit was needed to serve patrons outside.
On Tuesday the Mid-Hudson region, which includes Westchester County, moved to Phase 3 of the four-phase reopening. The phased reopening is to have a gradual but safe re-introduction of businesses to slowly but safely help the economy to recover.
Restaurants can now offer indoor dining and seat up to 50 percent of their capacity. Masks are required to be worn by staff and customers unless seated at their tables and for tables and chairs at least six feet apart.
The initial estimated cost to close Wheeler Avenue for outdoor dining was $25,000 to cover the rental of street barriers and weekend police overtime, which requires the payment of double pay. Village Administrator Eric Morrissey said $25,000 was a conservative estimate for outdoor dining, which they originally based on two nights a week over the span of three months.
“There is money in the budget to cover that, especially since we had to cancel large events this year like Pleasantville Day and Memorial Day parades,” Morrissey said. “The outdoor dining is, after all, an economic development initiative.”