During the coronavirus pandemic, one of the businesses hit especially hard have been restaurants. From massive staff layoffs to lack of revenue and even difficulties securing PPP loans it's been a very difficult time since mid-March.

As we enter Phase Three in New York this Wednesday restaurants will be able to expand their sit down dining, but will still have to practice distancing by putting tables 6 feet apart. For some restaurants, this simply isn't possible. So, restaurant owners have been looking for ways to expand their dining rooms and still stay within the state's guidelines for reopening.

One idea that's been discussed around the Capital Region is closing down streets to allow outdoor dining to include the area on the street in front of the restaurant.

Ballston Spa is one of the area's first towns to announce that they will be closing streets to allow outdoor dining area to expand into the roads and parking lots.  According to the article in The Daily Gazette, the Ballston Spa board voted last week to close the section of Front Street between Low and Bath streets between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Restaurants can expand their dining to the area directly in front of their location and into the parking lots. The new rules will take effect on Thursday, June 18.

Currently, Next Door Restaurant, Front Street Social Club, Sunset Grill, and Henry's Irish Tavern are all expected to expanding their outdoor dining onto Front Street. Ballston Spa has applied for a special liquor license to allow restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages in their expanded outdoor dining.

Look for this to expand to other communities around the Capital Region as the area continues to open up into Phase Three.

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