Cary's downtown outdoor dining setup to return Thursday

  • A photo of outdoor dining on Cary's Spring Street from last summer.

    A photo of outdoor dining on Cary's Spring Street from last summer. Courtesy Shaw Media

Updated 4/1/2021 9:54 AM

Cary's popular downtown outdoor dining setup, initially created to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, is officially back Thursday.

Known as "Alfresco Alley," the setup will be the same as it was in 2020, when, with COVID-19 restrictions limiting indoor dining, many municipalities, including Cary, decided to allow outdoor dining in public spaces.


Decorating Spring Street will be lights, picnic tables and planter boxes, all part of an effort to make an environment welcoming to business owners, residents and guests, Village Administrator Jake Rife said.

The return of "Alfresco Alley" also means, however, that starting April 1, Spring Street from West Main Street to Cary Street will be closed.

During a committee of the whole meeting in February, Cary trustees and village officials discussed having Alfresco Alley from April through October. Rife said this timeline will be reevaluated in the fall based on the weather, the use of the outdoor dining and other factors.

Trustees, during the meeting, were largely supportive of the idea of reinstating this outdoor dining configuration.

When Alfresco Alley first came to Cary, it was well-reviewed by residents, according to village documents, something Rife anticipates will happen again.

"This was popular, and it was successful last year, and we expect it to be the same this year," Rife said.

The city of Crystal Lake also is looking to implement more outdoor dining in their cities as well, by opening up parking spaces in front of restaurants, acting Crystal Lake Mayor Haig Haleblian said Tuesday.

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