The District Department of Transportation will continue the city’s streatery program through February with plans for a permanent program later next year, the agency announced Friday.
City officials will automatically renew streatery permit licenses for businesses that applied for the program and will continue allowing sidewalk table service, outdoor tents and heaters during colder months along with curbside pickup areas. The streatery program has helped local businesses operate through the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic since last May after indoor service was limited because of health concerns.
DDOT installed a streatery – also known as a “parklet” – in front of Duke’s Grocery last fall.
“The Streatery Program has been one example of a lifeline that helped businesses operate safely, stay afloat, keep their employees on the payroll,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a release earlier this year. “We look forward to working with the Council to extend the Streatery Program, even after the public health emergency ends.”
DDOT found that of 100 businesses with streatery permits, 87 percent said the program increased their business revenue and 78 percent retained, rehired or expanded staff because of the program, according to two online surveys conducted by the agency.
Among 3,000 locals surveyed, 73 percent said streateries caused them to eat out more or pick up food because of outdoor dining and curbside pickup options, according to DDOT data. The surveys also showed that 40 percent of residents said outdoor dining, curbside delivery and pickup helped them or someone they know maintain a job in the restaurant industry during the pandemic.