Al-fresco dining set for Limerick as ‘parklets' begin to take shape

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

Al-fresco dining set for Limerick as ‘parklets' begin to take shape

The site in O'Connell Street being prepared for the so-called 'parklets' yesterday

PREPARATIONS are under way for two unique facilities to allow al-fresco dining through the summer months.

Outdoor tables and chairs are going to be erected on the road side between 116 and 119 O’Connell Street – outside the Texas Steakout, Abrakebabra and Centra – as well as beside Canteen in Catherine Street. It’s anticipated more will follow.

Works to prepare the site swung into action yesterday, and it’s anticipated it will be ready by the back end of next week. These so-called parklets will have a metal enclosure keeping seating well separate from the street and its vehicles.

Fine Gael councillor Daniel Butler, who set in motion the plans for the parklets is delighted to see them come to fruition.

“This is a measure I worked with Limerick Council to be included in the Covid-19 mobility plan as it is an effective and targeted way of increasing public realm space while supporting local business. The council have decided to use a build out type approach with a concrete base level with the existing pathway. It will have a metal enclosure with planters and seating on it. The idea is to allow for al fresco dining where Covid-19 has a reduced risk of transmission increasing capacity for business which have reduced indoor capacity."

He urged people to come into the city centre and support local traders.

“Our city centre is full of locally owned business that really needs our support right now. So get out and get in to Limerick,” he said.

Elsewhere, hospitality traders have received a boost after council announced fees for placing tables and chairs outside businesses premises will be waived for the entirety of 2020.

No fees will be payable by traders using outdoor tables until the end of December, in a bid to allow firms cater for extra customers while still observing social distancing.

It’s hoped the move will also enliven the city streets as people drink and dine al fresco over the next couple of months.

However, it will still be necessary for businesses to apply for council consent to place tables and chairs outside their premises in a public place.