(PHOTO: A possible new “winter” plan for Purchase Street shows the street open to traffic, but certain private and public property available to businesses to erect tents so they can continue outdoor dining or other business.)
“I am 100% dying to stay and work outside All winter, weather permitting!!!!,” said Gerri Piovesan, the proprietor of Poppy’s Cafe, who has benefited from Rye’s “Purchase Street Plaza”. “Pre-covid seating was 36… Now 18 I cannot survive on 50% capacity, I would cut everyone’s hours and cut staff… and probably go out of business!!”
Lisa McKiernan, a managing partner at Ruby’s Oyster Bar said “If outdoor seating isn’t provided, and we are left with indoor only, our staff sill be diminished by about 40-50% and those that are left will have hours cut.”
Other responses from Rye restaurants are similar. And they all anxiously await as the Rye City Council meets Wednesday night to vote if the Purchase Street Plaza – or some version of it – will be extended beyond its current end date of next Monday, October 12th.
“I am a huge supporter of the plaza. I actually love it,” the owner of Palmer & Purchase Abbie Durkin told MyRye.com. In the winter “make it into that small ski village like atmosphere.”
In a memo sent to Rye City Council, City Manager Greg Usry looks to present an option that favors “a much longer period of time, including through the winter and into spring 2021” while at the same time opening Purchase Street to regular traffic.
Usry’s recommendations imagine tents for restaurants and other businesses on private property and designated private property, and allowing time for conversion into this next semi-permanent state. “Traffic flow and on-street parking would return to pre-Covid conditions with the exception of parking spaces converted to walkways. Candidates for this approach include Bare burger, Village Social, Ana Maria and Aurora,” states the Usry memo.
Usry reports the restaurants have been receptive to this new recommendation. Wednesday night we will see if the city council agrees.
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