Areas around Delaware are tempting diners (and drinkers – and shoppers) with special events in which the dining spreads onto sidewalks, parking spots, parks or the streets.
They were popular last year because the risk of being infected with COVID-19 is lower outdoors and being able to offer outside seating kept a lot of restaurants afloat.
But restauranteurs say many diners prefer to eat outdoors, except for extremes of heat and cold.
Here’s a some of the places offering outdoor events, plus a few themed unifying festivals:
The 11th Delaware Beer, Wine & Spirits Festival runs 4-7:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum & Village. Details will soon be posted on https://debeerwinespirits.com.
Third Thursday blocks off two blocks of Milford’s South Walnut Street on the third Thursday of the month. The event resumed in May after months of a pandemic blackout. Downtown Milford has a list of participants, many with discounts.
The 17th annual Newark Food & Brew Fest is noon to 7 p.m. July 31. It’s indoors, in more than a dozen downtown restaurants, but it’s also an easy to to savor 4-ounce samples of more than 50 beers.
Main Street Alfresco will continue every Wednesday through September, with the exception of National Night Out, scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 3. National Night Out and Main Street Alfresco will be combined for that one week. Restaurants, as the name confirms, expand onto Main Street.
Parks on Draft are municipally run pop-up beer gardens, with refreshments and entertainment. The next event, featuring Home Grown, will be 4-9 p.m. June 18-9 and 1-5 p.m. June 20 at Handloff Park on Barksdale Road.
Rehoboth Beach is home to many restaurants with outdoor dining spaces, and it is continuing a program that started last year to allow them to expand to sidewalks and public spaces.
The 14th City Restaurant Week runs June 13-18, with prix-fixe prices of $15 for lunch and $35 for dinner (plus gratuity.
The Curbside Wilmington Happy Hour starts Thursday, with the 400 block of North Market Street closed off for entertainment. “They continue every Thursday evening at various downtown locations, with details promised on Facebook.
West Side Wednesdays showcases Wilmington’s Little Italy, through Sept. 30. West Side Grows Together orchestrates the all-day events.
Wilmington is working on plans for outdoor dining events and it plans to announce Thursday. One last year was called Dining on Delaware, and allowed Trolley Square restaurants to move into Delaware Avenue Friday nights through Sunday evenings.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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