Dining and shopping in downtown Kent has more outdoor options each Saturday with vehicle traffic banned along one block of First Avenue between Gowe and Titus streets.
Local merchants set up displays and restaurants use outdoor tables as part of the new 1st Ave Inside OUT Open Air Dining & Marketplace, a collaboration effort with the Kent Downtown Partnership, the city of Kent and downtown merchants to allow more social distancing during COVID-19. The street is set up from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each Saturday through September. The marketplace had its debut July 25.
Participating businesses include Pixel Parlour, Wild Wheat Bakery Cafe & Restaurant, Thai Chili Restaurant, Dogwood Cafe and Lounge, Rusty Raven Studio, Alleluia! Catholic Store, Running Stitch Fabrics and Afghan Kebab House.
Fikes Products donated hand sanitizer stations along First Avenue, Home Depot Rental the umbrellas, Davis Door Service the safety logistics and Balloon Love Shop the displays, according to Kent Downtown Partnership.
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.