Thanks to a new project, more sidewalk dining will be available in downtown Bristol.
Crews were busy smoothing concrete Friday morning along 6th Street. The project, city engineer Jake Chandler said, extended the sidewalk by about five feet, pushing the existing sidewalk to be about 12 feet wide.
This will allow sidewalk seating for restaurants and breweries. So far, Chandler said only The Angry Italian and Elderbrew will be affected, but another aim for the project was to pull traffic to downtown Bristol’s side streets starting with 6th.
“There’s a lot of side-street businesses through there as opposed to the other streets downtown,” Chandler said. “If you look at the other streets there’s one or two but there’s quite a few down 6th Street, it’s just a different atmosphere when you walk down it.”
The project is part of a bigger plan for the downtown area, Chandler noted.
Owners for Elderbrew and The Angry Italian said they both plan to take advantage of the expanded sidewalk.
Elderbrew owner Micahel Peck said Elderbrew will have outdoor seating after obtaining a permit, and added there are plans to incorporate busking in front of the establishment.
The Angry Italian owner Keith Yonker said he envisions four or five sidewalk tables outside his restaurant.
“I think it adds to the aura and it adds to the mystique of a restaurant, being able to sit out here, it’s an Italian restaurant, having that feel of sitting out on the street eating, it just has that old world way to it,” he said.
He added he is looking forward to the foot traffic this could bring to the “side streets” of downtown Bristol.
“This is going to allow us on the side streets to say, ‘Hey, we’re here, we’re a part of the magic here in Bristol.’ It’s only going to help I think,” he said. “It’s a change.”
Chandler said the road and sidewalk will remain closed through the weekend, and motorists and pedestrians can expect it to reopen Monday.