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Rutland City discussing outdoor seating again for summer

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 6:49 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 25, 2021 at 7:57 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - RUTLAND CITY, Vt. (WCAX) - Rutland City is discussing plans to once again transform Center Street for the summer. The city reconfigured the street last year to allow for outdoor seating, a bike lane and better walking areas.

“Downtown was alive! People felt safe to come out and enjoy dinners and drinks,” said Jessi Travers Moulton of TASO on Center, a restaurant and bar.

Travers Moulton says adding outdoor seating was huge for them last summer. She says without it, the business may not have been able to stay open.

“I really don’t think that all the places downtown would have made it without it,” she said. “It was a big help.”

“I think a lot of the retail people survived but it’s the restaurants who are hurting and if we can do something that can get them out front and get more customers, that’s what it’s all about,” said Meshach Tourigny of Mountain Music.

Tourigny is happy there are plans for this again this summer. He says it brightened up the area and let people know the downtown is open for business.

“I’d like to see if they could bring back any street events or if that’s going to be pushed again to next year,” Tourigny said.

Nikki Hindman of the Downtown Rutland Partnership says they are looking into that possibility.

“We are waiting on guidance from the state in order to provide live music this summer, but we are absolutely hoping we can have that on Center Street,” Hindman said.

Rutland City received just under $20,000 from the Better Places Grant. That money is going toward new materials to build parklet decking, repaint some of the lines, add plants and more.

The city is also discussing other ways to enhance the downtown, drawing more people to the area.

Back over at TASO on Center, they’re already planning some additions and surprises to their outdoor seating.

“I don’t want to give it away for everybody but it’s going to be really exciting!” Travers Moulton promised.

The plan is to have this up and running by Memorial Day Weekend and have it go through about mid-October.

Related Story:

Rutland restaurants take advantage of new space for seating

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