As time rolls on, we're learning that while COVID rules are changing we actually didn't mind some of them. Like more outdoor seating.

When restaurants first opened up in the summer of 2020 it came with one caveat, dining had to be done outdoors. Thankfully, many restaurants welcomed the new rule with open arms.  I distinctly remember sitting in the parking lot of what used to be Bonefish Grill in Poughkeepsie. It was magical and I was so happy that things were somewhat normal again.

Local Hudson Valley restaurants embraced the change. For instance, Nostrano Vineyard in Milton introduced us to their outdoor dining globes, and towns like Rhinebeck and Beacon added additional seating on the sidewalks.

We're 2 years into this new way of life and one Hudson Valley town is looking to bring back sidewalk seating.

Several Rhinebeck businesses shared that they are hoping to bring back sidewalk seating for their restaurants and cafes in town. A petition has been created on Change.Org to bring light to the Rhinebeck Town Board. Jennifer Daul, who created the petition, writes:

We are a group of restaurants in the Village of Rhinebeck who would like to see outside seating on the sidewalks continue as in the past two years. (Not in the street w barriers) At the present time it is not allowed going forward. Many of you have told us if we ever need your support on this topic to let you know! Now is the time we could use your support. Of course, we're all in this together, and we would also like our diners & neighboring village shop owners to enjoy similar outdoor retail displays as we've seen over the past two years.”We will present the petition on approximately April 1 to the village board.

Businesses like The Kroeg and Samuel's Sweet Shop are on board asking guests to sign the petition.

As of March 17th, 2022 the petition has garnered 1,727 signatures and is looking for 2,500.  One petition signer explains their reason for signing, writing:

We are not totally free of COVID, and outdoor seating feels safe. Plus, it adds to the charm and atmosphere!

Another writes:

Outdoor seating gives people more options to visit local and small businesses. It adds a vibe that is welcoming and fun.

To sign the petition and to learn more visit their page on Change.Org.

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