Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Considers Street Closure to Allow For Outdoor Dining

CHARLOTTE, NC – Feasting in the streets.  There is a new idea proposed by several groups in Plaza Midwood that would expand several restaurant dining areas into the middle of the road. 

The plan is in the very early stages and still needs approval, but local restaurant owners are hopeful this may increase their bottom line. 

“We’re just trying to figure out ways that we can bring our food to the people,” said Will Bigham, the owner of Pizza Peel. 

He says sales at the restaurant have been sliced in half since the pandemic began. Bigham says with rising COVID cases in the county they’re having to get creative. 

“That was the idea behind it, if we could put tables out and draw business for everyone,” said Bigham. 

The Plaza Midwood Merchants Association and the Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association are exploring closing part of Thomas St. between Commonwealth and Central avenues.

“We’re looking for good smart opportunities to engage with folks,” said Clifton Castelloe, the President of the Plaza Midwood Merchants Association. 

Castelloe says the closure may only be on weekends. And would allow for businesses and restaurants to extend into the streets. 

“We want to make sure that we do things that are in the best interest of our businesses and also things that appeal to our residents,” said Castelloe.

The main concern from locals is that too many people may show up at the same time, creating a crowd. 

Castelloe says they’re considering capping the capacity and requiring reservations to limit numbers. Cleaning and sanitation procedures would also be in place. 

“We just want to make sure that we do things in a way that makes sense and puts caution first,” said Castelleo

“I think it just brings something new. A new idea to get people out,” said Bigham. 

Bigham says they’ll still need approval from the city and department of transportation before the walkable street becomes a reality.