Putnam to Expand Outdoor Dining as Weather Gets Warmer

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The warm weather is helping to give Connecticut restaurants a little bit of a boost with many people looking to enjoy outdoor dining.

The town of Putnam is planning to expand outdoor dining again this spring to give restaurants more space to serve customers safely.

In a few weeks, parking spaces on Main Street in Putnam will be filled with tables and chairs for outdoor dining and barriers will be put up to close part of the street.

The town will reinstate a similar plan from last year starting next month.

Putnam Mayor Norman "Barney" Seney said there isn't an exact date for how long the outdoor dining will last but believes it will go into mid-November.

"We’re very excited to have the seating outside," Terry  Paquett, owner of Stomping Ground, said.

Paquett said winter was a struggle.

"We only seat 50 people normally and under these conditions we’ve had about 25 to 30 seats in house and that wasn’t enough but we made it through and it’s spring, so it’s more hopeful now," Paquett said.

Kayla  Trant, the co-owner of Beer Hands Brewing Company. said not only do businesses get a benefit from outdoor dining, but it also brings more people into town and it's a boost for the entire community.

"You have people coming from all over Connecticut just to experience a little bit of downtown Putnam. You know, it’s cute, it’s charming. You could see cars driving by, waving to people so it’s fun," Trant said.  

Seney described how the outdoor dining will look.

"Last year and this year, resetting out barriers and closing down a portion of Main Street for restaurants to have outside dining. We got another portion of the upper Main Street that we close off also for a brewery so they can bring in food and serve liquor," he said.

According to Seney, even though dining is back to 100% capacity, local restaurants need outdoor dining to be able to be successful.

"What most people don’t realize is with inside dining in the way it’s set up now, although they kind of went to 100%, with the distancing they really don’t gain that much until they totally take down the barriers. So basically they still need this outside dining to be able to have a full staff and have a successful year," he said.

The outdoor dining will be available beginning on Monday, April 19.

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