Park City approves 10 dining decks along Main Street, the most ever |

Park City approves 10 dining decks along Main Street, the most ever

Program expected to be important again this year as coronavirus spread continues

Park City leaders recently approved the annual dining deck program along Main Street. The added seating is seen as especially important with the novel coronavirus continuing to spread.
Park Record file photo

There will be plenty of options for dining outside along Main Street this year.

The Park City Council at a recent meeting approved leases with 10 restaurants that were needed before they could operate dining decks in public space. The 10 approvals are the most in the history of the program, which dates to 2010. The highest number prior to 2021 was the nine between 2011 and 2014, according to a City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the recent meeting.

The dining decks have become a fixture over the years on the streetscape of the shopping, dining and entertainment strip in the summer and fall. The decks debuted as Park City was attempting to enliven Main Street amid the struggles caused by the recession of more than a decade ago. The decks remained after the economic comeback as the restaurant industry and Park City leaders agreed the outside seating added to the atmosphere.

The dining decks took on even greater importance, though, in the summer of 2020 with the spread of the novel coronavirus forcing restrictions on seating inside restaurants. It is not known what sort of restrictions on restaurant capacity will remain in place later in the year. The added seating outside on the decks, though, provides space for more diners. They were busy at many points last summer.

The Historic Park City Alliance supports the program. Alison Kuhlow, the executive director of the alliance, said the decks are full of diners each year, noting the added seating with the decks.

The dining decks approved by the City Council are:

• The Eating Establishment

• Crystal Park Cantina

• Flanagan’s on Main

• Shabu

• 501 on Main

• The Brick

• Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters

• Main Street Pizza & Noodle

• Bangkok Thai On Main

• Fletcher’s, which puts seating on a walkway known for a bronze sculpture of a bear rather than on Main Street itself.

The spread of the coronavirus is expected to influence business in the summer even as case numbers drop and vaccines become more widely distributed. The Historic Park City Alliance and City Hall in coming months are expected to hold broader discussions about the operations of Main Street this year, such as the prospects of a second year of pedestrian days. The recent approval of the dining decks in 2021 was a standard action taken by the City Council even if the decks are expected to again have greater impact.

“It’s something I think our community enjoys,” Jenny Diersen, the economic development program manager at City Hall, said about the dining decks.

She said the program adds vibrancy to Main Street and diners continue to want an outside option with the coronavirus still spreading.

The dining decks are allowed between April 12 and Oct. 30. City Hall anticipates the decks will be installed as early as the third week of April. The timing usually depends on the weather. The municipal government charges the restaurants $2,160 per parking spot that a dining deck occupies to cover the foregone revenue from paid parking.

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