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While it’s hard to think about what Melbourne will look like in a week’s time, let alone after lockdown ends, we can kind of glean what to expect from other cities around the world. New York, for instance, has seen a surge in outdoor dining areas thanks to a new initiative that saw NYC restaurants open sidewalk and curb lane seating. According to the Age, Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp is currently considering a similar pathway for Melbourne’s CBD to both support struggling businesses and to get more people back into the city following lockdown.
It’s a weird time for many Melburnians who usually work in the city and spend their free time in CBD bars, restaurants and venues. Now, with public health orders insisting we work from home where possible, many of us haven’t been into the CBD for months and it’s unlikely that this will change for a long time. So, what about all those restaurants and bars who rely on lunch-time and after-work trade to keep afloat?
Melbourne city council is in talks to waive fees for outdoor dining permits in order for restaurants to begin trading al fresco when restrictions ease. The plan is for Melbourne’s outdoor dining approach to copy from New York’s Open Restaurants model, where patrons aren’t allowed to eat inside the premises, but sit on the footpath or even the streetside just outside the venue. There’s also a plan in the works to waive fees for outdoor dining permits to help businesses who are already struggling with rent and overhead fees.
As everyone who’s sat in a Melbourne beer garden in the height of winter sipping on a beer and scoffing down a parma can attest, Melburnians really don’t mind eating outside. We’re impervious to weather changes, too, so that’s a plus. Could this be the way to revitalise Melbourne’s dining scene? We’ll keep you up to date with any announcements, but for now, sit tight and keep ordering takeaway.
Here are 100+ Melbourne restaurants and bars now doing takeaway near you.
This article first appeared on www.timeout.com
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