Downtown Detroit real estate firm Bedrock is rolling out a set of outdoor dining spaces to help encourage people to get back into the central district this winter. The developer announced on Thursday, December 10, plans to construct multiple heated open-air pergolas, compliant with statewide COVID-19 outdoor dining regulations and Centers for Disease Control guidelines.
The project is part of an four-month-long initiative by Quicken Loans chairman Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock and Rocket Community Fund called Decked Out Detroit to create “safe shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences,” per a release. The companies worked with the City of Detroit’s health department to ensure that the setups were as safe as possible for outdoor eating and conformed to health recommendations.
Restaurants and bars, particularly those downtown that relied heavily on traffic from office workers that transitioned to working from home, have been hit hard during the COVID-19 crisis. And winter, traditionally a challenging time for businesses in Michigan, is even more difficult this year due to indoor dining restrictions designed to help limit the spread of new COVID-19 infections. While outdoor seating is permitted, there are limitations to how those structures can be assembled to conform to state regulations and constructing them can be prohibitively expensive — especially if people are not comfortable dining outside in cold weather.
Customers who dine at restaurants at Bedrock properties including Avalon Bakery, Besa, Buddy’s Pizza Downtown, Calexico, Cannelle by Matt Knio, Cornerstone Barrel House, Eatori Market, the Hudson Cafe, Maru Sushi, Mootz Pizzeria and Bar, and San Morello can also secure eight free hours of parking in Bedrock lots throughout downtown. The free parking offer begins on Monday, December 14, and pergolas are expected to debut on Friday, December 18. Customers are required to follow all state guidelines regarding mask-wearing and social distancing. Even more events and shopping activations are set to be announced soon.
Early on in the pandemic, Bedrock offered rent relief to its tenants and later provided them with the option of temporarily amending their leases to wave rent and fees for the month of June and instead wave base rent in favor of a 7 percent fee on gross sales for reopened businesses. Those programs are scheduled to expire on Thursday, December 31.
• Decked Out Detroit Website [Official]
• Bedrock Open Business Map [Official]
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• What Are Michigan’s COVID-19 Rules for Restaurants and Bars Right Now?
• Many Restaurants Will Have to Close Down or Reinvent Outdoor Seating Under New Michigan Health Order [ED]