MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- With restaurants throughout Alabama running at 50% capacity, the City of Mobile is easing restrictions to allow more outdoor dining.
Several downtown restaurants are in the process or looking at building outdoor decks in streets and parking lots.
“I think people are going to enjoy it,” said Mo’Bay Beignet Owner Jaclyn Robinson. “The best of both worlds.”
The city is allowing this because of the coronavirus capacity restrictions.
Mo’Bay Beignet says they are planning to add a permanent outdoor deck on Hamilton Street.
“Once this happened it absolutely opened the door to explore that more fully and thankfully the city is receptive and they’re wanting us all as restaurant owners downtown to find more options for seating people outdoors,” Robinson said.
Diners we talked with say it could be a huge hit.
“I think it’s great,” said John Overmeyer. “It just adds to the atmosphere of being outside and dining outside and the downtown atmosphere at that.”
Currently in downtown there are only a few restaurants with these decks, like Heroes on Dauphin Street.
Carol Hunter with the Downtown Mobile Alliance said at least three restaurants are exploring building one, but so far none have been approved by the City of Mobile.
“It is a great time to explore that option, that long term permanent option in this situation where some of the permitting is a little more relaxed,” she said.
Back at Mo’Bay Biegnet, they think more outdoor seating is a winning combination with fried dough and a little bit of sugar.
“I think people are going to enjoy having another place downtown to sit outside,” Robinson said.
Once approved, the deck also known as a parklet could be up and running in a few months.