Stock photo

Stock photo

Outdoor dining options expand on First Avenue in downtown Kent

Block to be closed on Saturdays for 1st Ave Inside OUT Open Air Dining & Marketplace

Outdoor dining options will increase on Saturdays in downtown Kent for businesses along one block of First Avenue, between Gowe and Titus streets.

The 1st Ave Inside OUT Open Air Dining & Marketplace will run from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each Saturday, starting July 25, through September, to allow restaurants and retail shops to use sidewalks and the adjacent street for outdoor seating.

“We are closing the entire block on 1st Ave on Saturdays throughout summer to provide additional capacity and social distance options to keep our community and businesses safe and healthy,” said Gaila Gutierrez, executive director of the Kent Downtown Partnership, in a July 22 media release. “It’s essential to provide alternatives for people who are hesitant about indoor dining and shopping. Restaurants will still offer inside options but the 1st Ave Inside OUT offers more flexibility and a great opportunity for our small businesses to serve more people. Everyone loves to be outside on a beautiful summer day, plus it ties in nicely with the downtown Farmers Market. We encourage people to stop by 1st Ave before or after the market and fully enjoy their downtown.”

Participating restaurants include Thai Chili, Wild Wheat Bakery & Cafe, Dogwood Lounge & Cafe, Afghan Kebab and Rafiki. Retail shops on 1st Ave will be open along with those on Meeker Street, Railroad Avenue and the surrounding area.

Masks are required when social distancing is not possible and to sit at the tables. Hand sanitizer stations donated by Fikes Products will be available throughout the block. Restaurants will maintain compliance with Washington State Safe Start regulations adopted due to COVID-19.

Parking is available at the corner of West Titus Street and First Avenue South. Parking is free and without time limits on these Saturdays only.

1st Ave Inside OUT is a pilot program and collaboration effort with the Kent Downtown Partnership, the city of Kent and downtown merchants. The program will continue based on public interest through September.

For more information, go to

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Business

Sysco employees show off job skills at Kent warehouse

Company holds competitions in warehouse work and truck driving

Summer Passports can be found at all 12 participating women-owned businesses. Courtesy photo.
12 local women-owned businesses launch summer passport program

In an initiative to boost small businesses in Maple Valley, Covington and Black Diamond, shoppers and patrons of each women-owned business will be eligible to receive weekly raffle prizes.

Kent Chamber of Commerce CEO Harris to participate in leadership program

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation selects her for national business course

Courtesy Photo, Safeway
Two Kent grocery stores on Kroger-Albertsons sale list

Safeway on SE Kent-Kangley and QFC on SE 240th Street

Kent-based Blue Origin completes seventh human spaceflight

Six-member crew included Ed Dwight, the nation’s first Black astronaut candidate in the 1960s

Christie Nelson new leader of John L. Scott office that serves Kent

Office also handles Covington and Maple Valley with 60 brokers

Kent-based Blue Origin’s seventh human flight set for May 19

New Shepard-25 will launch from West Texas

Kent’s copper-colored building near Highway 167 to become banquet hall

Facility on Washington Avenue South previously housed LA Fitness; newspaper printing plant

Kent-based Stoke Space names retired US Space Force leader to board

Lt. Gen. John E Shaw appointed to Board of Directors

City of Kent again looking for new tenant at Riverbend restaurant

City terminates lease with Half Lion Public House, which had hoped to reopen at golf complex

Kent-based Blue Origin announces crew for next space flight

6 members to include former Air Force captain selected in 1961 as first Black astronaut candidate

Kent man among 40 Under 40 honorees by Puget Sound Business Journal

Andy Song, 33, works as chief operating officer at Kids and Family Counseling