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Grants help downtown restaurants open outdoor cafes

Downtown restaurants will start offering more outdoor dining options thanks to a new program.
Posted at 11:07 AM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 14:07:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Downtown restaurants will start offering more outdoor dining options thanks to a new program.

With help from a Pima County and Downtown Tucson Partnership's Outdoor Cafe Grant Program, restaurants will get up to $5,000 to expand and enhance outdoor cafes.

The funds can be used for such things as barriers, furniture and amenities.

The program has received 19 applications totaling $99,000.

“This comes at a time when small local restaurants are struggling to stay open,” stated Chuck Huckelberry, Pima County Administrator, in a statement. “The social distancing requirements coupled with the need to rebuild consumer confidence make this program the solution restaurants so desperately need to survive.”

Penca, at 50 E Broadway, used its $5,000 grant to build a new café complete with tables, chairs, planters and pedestrian ramps..

Urban Fresh, Raptor Canyon Café and Café 54 joined together to create the Pennington Street Outdoor Food Court located at the northwest corner of Pennington Street and Scott Avenue.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to re-envision and reshape our downtown,” said Kathleen Eriksen, President and CEO of the DTP, in a statement. “The new cafés will have a transformative impact on the appearance and walkability of downtown. It’s been rewarding for our team and Pima County to work with the restaurants from the time of application, concept and design phase, to assisting with permit approvals and final realization of their outdoor cafés.”

For a listing of outdoor cafés, visit this site..