GREENSBORO, N.C. — Friday was the first go at 'open streets.'
No vehicles, just dining tables, clothing racks, and foot traffic along Elm Street in downtown Greensboro.
The city shut the road down from Lewis to Market Street to allow restaurants and shops to bring their business onto sidewalks and streets.
John Martin owns Stolen Skate Shop.
He said this effort by Downtown Greensboro Inc. to help businesses recover losses from coronavirus is working in his favor!
“We've already seen multiple people walking by the shop and grabbing a few items as they go,” said Martin.
Martin hopes to he can gain more traction.
Friday was White and Wood's first full day open in five months.
Restaurant owner Jake Ngo said they stayed closed for the safety of their staff.
But the Phase 2 extension encouraged them to get back to business.
“We're going to be in this for a while,” Ngo said. “I wanted us to ease into it and take it slow.”
Ngo said opening up with the city's "open streets" initiative in a socially distanced way makes a difference.
“We lost more than half of our seats inside," Ngo said. "We went from 66 to 28 seats and, out here we're able to add on 26 more seats so it helps balance it out."
Frankie Jones and his wife said they loved their outside dining experience at 1618 Downtown.
"It made us feel more comfortable getting out,” Jones said. “We've been really selective in terms of eating out at all but sitting outside makes us feel more comfortable.”
The ten restaurants and nineteen retailers who participated hope's the encouraged foot traffic will boost business.
‘Open Street’s’ will go on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.
Downtown Greensboro Incorporated wants to make this happen every Friday and Saturday in August.