As some Bay Area communities consider pausing efforts to ease coronavirus business restrictions, Redwood City is continuing with its popular program aimed at helping downtown restaurants and retailers survive.
Redwood City has blocked off some of the downtown district’s busiest thoroughfares to vehicle traffic for a program called “Eat, Sip and Be in RWC.”
Among the streets blocked off are a portion of Broadway, Theater Way and Main Street. They’re instead open to restaurants and bars to set up tables for service.
San Mateo County already allows indoor dining, but customers are still uneasy about sitting inside an enclosed space for an extended period, so sitting outside has become a welcome alternative.
“I love eating outside because the weather is great out here,” said Redwood City resident John Bertoldi. “You know, more outside seating is good.”
Pamela Bertoldi, also of Redwood City, agreed.
“Every restaurant we’ve been to has been fanatical about making sure we know everything they’re doing to keep us safe,” she said. “And, we want to reciprocate and tip well and help them make some money.”
The newly closed streets are also popular with residents who aren’t stopping to eat.
“I think it also adds to the environment of people wanting to come outside and still feel safe,” said Eric Flemming, a Redwood City local. “And then, I have two kids, so sometimes they ride their bikes while we’re at restaurants.”
Moving dining outdoors has become a popular strategy for cities to help keep restaurants and retailers in business. This Redwood City program also includes several signs and hand sanitizing stations along the way, reminding people to be safe.
The “Eat, Sip and Be in RWC” program continues through the end of September.