Are you a bit weary after all the excitement of the shops reopening and maybe you’re not used to being ‘on the go’ after a year of on and off high street closures?
Well, there’s ‘A Seat for You’ to take the weight off your feet after a busy day shopping.
The specially designed eating areas called ‘A Seat for You’ have popped up around the city. The idea is another roll-out of the City Council’s Office of City Recovery to reenergise Dublin as pandemic restrictions lift.
It caters for people who have started visiting, shopping or working in the city so they can have somewhere safe to rest, relax and to eat in. ‘This gives people an extra option of sitting down and having something to eat without formally going into a restaurant when in town. A lot of places where people can grab a quick sandwich still aren’t opened. This way they can bring their own food or get something locally’ explains Don Daly, Project Manager, Culture, Recreation and Economic Services at Dublin City Council.
Anyone can use the secure outdoor-dining areas which complies with the relevant public health guidelines including social distancing. No alcohol or smoking is allowed as the designated seating areas are designed to be family friendly with light touch security for peace of mind. ‘We decided to err on the side of caution and implement contract tracing. Another big thing was also to have a cleaner there to keep the place neat and tidy so that people will actually use it’ says Don.
Even our precarious weather has been thought of with parasols to shield diners from the rain and hopefully the summer sun.
For the first weekend trial of the ‘A Seat For You’ initiative, the sun was shining which drew the crowds as did the bright and colourful branding on the enclosure barriers provided by the Events’ Section, all of which served to make the eating areas an attractive option.
Don says, ‘The one that proved most successful from the first weekend trial was the one in the median on O’Connell St because most of the food places there were fast food and didn’t have any outdoor seating. That proved busy and there were even queues to get into it’. At anyone time, up to 30 people can be facilitated in each area.
For those still wary about venturing into the city and having a bite to eat, ‘The risk is really minimised by virtue of being outdoors. The eating areas are well spaced out. There are also a couple of disabled access tables in all the venues’ says Don. He adds ‘The restaurants are doing a great job and the eating areas means that you don’t have to go indoors but you can still support local businesses’.
Four seating areas are open Sat & Sun 10am to 8pm at:
- Dublin Castle (inside Main gate)
- Mansion House Forecourt
- Capel St between the junctions of Parnell St and Ryders Row
- Lower O’Connell Street Median
During the day the structures are removed from site to allow normal business to resume Monday to Friday.
The initiative was planned for 4 weeks with another 2 weekends to go however in July the position may change when indoor dining is scheduled to return.
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