The City of Tyler is embracing the idea of additional outdoor dining in downtown Tyler.

The struggle for local restaurants to continue to survive in a pandemic, and soon to be post-pandemic, setting is a reality. Just about all of our East Texas restaurants adapted to the rapidly changing times thanks to the ongoing pandemic. Thankfully here in Texas all of the restrictions have been lifted and restaurants, bars and all types of businesses can resume a normal operation.

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But before that, restaurants were limited when it came to seating capacity. Because of those limitations, they had a lot of empty tables and many of them became very creative in order to attract and retain customers with hopes they would keep coming back. One way in which restaurants adapted is through outdoor seating.

In conjunction with Tyler's Main Street Department, Don Juan's obtained a special permit from the City Of Tyler, to create a special outdoor dining area in front of the restaurant as part of a pilot program dating back to October 2020. The restaurant was approved to turn several angle parking spaces into a new dining area for their eatery.

The pilot program was considered a success because during the trial period the city received great feedback and inquiries about the permanancy of the outdoor dining space.

During a city council meeting this week, the City of Tyler approved a more temporary right of way agreement with the restaurant for the new long-term outdoor seating. A more formal plan is being created. City of Tyler's Mayor Don Warren says,

I love to see downtown so busy and alive even on a Tuesday. I think this agreement will continue the momentum we are currently seeing."

Having a nice lunch or dinner outdoors in downtown Tyler is a perfect way to take in the beautiful sights of downtown and also creates a since of community. Let's hope this will expand to other downtown area restaurants.

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