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 downtownkentwa.com.