Fort Morgan restaurants are responding to new public health guidance by looking for creative ways to expand their capacity through outdoor seating.
The City of Fort Morgan is already working with several eateries on plans for outdoor dining areas adjacent to the restaurants. Gov. Jared Polis announced new COVID-19 Safer at Home guidance this week that allows on-premises dining in restaurants at 50 percent capacity. By adding outdoor seating these businesses can increase their capacity and accommodate more diners.
The city is waiving fees and easing regulations to allow outdoor restaurant seating on public rights of way like sidewalks, and in some cases also providing picnic tables for businesses to use free of charge while the pandemic restrictions are in place.
Several local restaurants, including Zazzy’s Café, The Mav, Arby’s and All About the Smoke, are making plans for outdoor seating areas. Others such as Cable’s Pub & Grill and Acapulco Bay have permanent outdoor serving areas that will likely see greater use.
The permit for outdoor service is also available to other retail businesses for which it makes sense, also with the normal fees waived. Different rules may apply depending on whether the outdoor areas are on public or private property, whether the area is owned by the business or by others, and whether alcohol service is involved.
Businesses in Fort Morgan looking to expand their seating or retail floor space capacity may want to consider applying for the Revocable Right of Way Permit. Rules and guidelines regarding the permit still apply, and city staff is hoping to provide fast review and approval of applications.
For more information or an application for outdoor service or retail space, contact Deputy City Clerk Jill Curtis at email@example.com or call (970) 542-3962. The application can be found using this link: https://www.cityoffortmorgan.com/DocumentCenter/View/6663/Revocable-Right-of-Way-Permit-Application-?bidId=
A separate state application and fee is required for outdoor service areas involving alcohol sales. Curtis can also assist with these applications.
For a request form for picnic tables use this link: https://www.cityoffortmorgan.com/DocumentCenter/View/6668/COVID-19-Bus-Assistance-Picnic-Table-Use-Agreement?bidId= or contact Economic Development Specialist Sarah Crosthwaite at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (970) 542-3924.
As our community continues to be impacted by COVID-19, our businesses are showcasing their resiliency and creativity. The City of Fort Morgan is committed to providing all possible and reasonable assistance to help businesses not only ensure the safety of their patrons but secure a strong reopening as well.
Businesses are also encouraged to visit the city’s COVID-19 Business Resource webpage to stay up to date on information and resources available to them from other agencies and programs: https://www.cityoffortmorgan.com/858/COVID-19-Business-Resources
For questions regarding business resources and programs, contact Crosthwaite at email@example.com or (970) 542-3924.
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