'Al Fresco' 1st Friday invites downtown South Bend customers to dine outside

Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 4:47 PM EDT
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Downtown South Bend opened their doors and patios for a special First Friday.

Coronavirus restrictions cancelled DTSB events until early July, but they're getting around it by going 'Al Fresco'.

This smaller scale First Friday invited customers to order out from their favorite downtown restaurants and then enjoy their meals outside.

DTSB also set up a social distancing friendly seating area where people brought their meals.

"Get some carry out, and we have this special physically distanced seating area out here at the Gridiron. We have music going for lunchtime. So you just come on down here. We have ambassadors that are cleaning the tables after each person so it's a safe place to enjoy some great downtown food," said DTSB Marketing & Events Director Kylie Carter.

Friday's events were supposed to carry on throughout the evening, but organizers decided to hold off to make room for the protesters rallying for black lives in a display of solidarity.

"What's planned for tonight--what's been planned all week long has all been super peaceful and I don't think we're at all concerned about anything looking like what other cities have going on. We're a really respectful, thoughtful community and I think that our citizens are really showing that they care in a peaceful and thoughtful manner," Carter said.

Nearly 20 downtown businesses are open for patio dining, with a number of other retail stores open too.

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