Residents and visitors react to possible downtown street closure to expand outdoor seating

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Wilmington's City Council is scheduled to vote on temporarily closing certain streets and sidewalks to expand outdoor seating and increase occupancy at the restaurants and shops (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

DOWNTOWN WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It’s not secret businesses have taken a hit due to coronavirus concerns and restrictions.

Some businesses have closed their dining rooms yet again, only providing curbside pickup as the number of cases continue to grow.

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Wilmington’s City Council is scheduled to vote on temporarily closing certain streets and sidewalks to expand outdoor seating and increase occupancy at the restaurants and shops.

Some visitors downtown weren’t convinced this is a good idea.

“I just think if they close the sidewalks, they’ll get less foot traffic,” Maxwell Church said. “So they won’t get as many customers.”



“Honestly, I do not see how it’s going to fix the problem,” Eva Kozlenko said.

But one Wilmington resident is excited by the idea.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for other restaurants to open and other businesses to kind of get back on track,” Chrystyle Tuner said. “I feel like it’s going to bring more business to our stores and shops.”

She says even though the sidewalks and streets will be closed, the shops will see more business too.

“I think they’ll see everyone sitting and dining and I think that’s going to bring them in,” Turner said. “I think that’s going to draw more attention and I think everyone’s going to want to be out here. Especially if it’s a nice day.”

She says more business will be great, but it’s still important to wear masks and maintain distance.

“Just be cautious with everything. That’s the best we can do. I know people are ready to get out of the house and just be out and about because we’ve been inside for too long,” Turner said. “But we still have to be safe about it.”

For details on the proposed ordinance, click here.

Wilmington City Council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance on Tuesday.