Alfresco Islands initiative encourages outdoor dining, supporting local restaurants

For those not comfortable eating at restaurants amid the pandemic, dining alfresco may be the way to go

FARGO, N.D. —┬áSummer may be winding down, but patio weather is still here, and a new initiative is helping more people take advantage of it.

For those wanting to eat out but are still uncomfortable with indoor dining, Alfresco Islands are now available in downtown Fargo.

The “islands” of picnic tables surrounded by barricades promote supporting local restaurants while staying safe amid the pandemic, as well as spending time outdoors.

They’re now set up near Broadway and 1st Avenue, as well as Broadway and 2nd.

“I hope that the people of Fargo will come back downtown and realize it’s a safe place,” says Development Coordinator at the Downtown Community Partnership Lora Larson.

She adds that precautions are taken to ensure it’s a safe environment for everyone.

Each group is encouraged to socially distance from one another, and the seats and tabletops are sanitized daily.

“It’s open to anybody,” says Larson. “If anybody just wants to come and hang out, there’s free wifi downtown. You can even come work at them if you wanted to.”

The Islands are especially useful for those whose favorite restaurant doesn’t offer patio seating.

“I love this Poke place, so any time we’re in Fargo I go here, but it was nice to see this outside just so I could sit out here.”

Stacey Hutton, who’s from Minneapolis but is in Fargo for a short while, says she feels better dining outdoors.

“We were at Drekker Brewing yesterday and there was a lot of outside seating, so just the few places we’ve gone, we’ve been outside,” she says.

Larson explains, “I think even before COVID, our local businesses really needed us to buy into them more, and with the COVID crisis happening, a lot of businesses really, really need the community to support them if they’re going to survive.”

The Alfresco Islands will be available through the rest of August.

For a map of locations, click here.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News