Alert
Emergency Precautions Until Further Notice Read More

Release Date: May 18,2020

Hampton to Close Part of Queens Way for Outdoor Dining

The plan is in response to Virginia's Phase One requirement that restaurants with outdoor seating are allowed to seat customers at 50% capacity.

The City of Hampton plans to close parts of Queens Way and Mellen Street to make temporary space for outdoor dining for restaurants.

The plan begins Friday and is in response to Virginia's Phase One requirement that restaurants with outdoor seating are allowed to seat customers at 50% capacity.

Some restaurants on Queens Way and Mellen Street will have to apply for temporary outdoor dining permits. City officials said it will be a quick approval process.

estaurants should receive them as soon as next weekend.

The seating allows for customers to dine outdoors and still maintain social distancing guidelines.

City Manager Mary Bunting made the announcement on Facebook Live on Thursday evening.

The applications will be short-form and available on the city's website beginning Monday.

Restaurants who want to serve alcohol in the expanded outdoor areas would also need to apply to the Virginia ABC. That will also be an expedited process, according to the news release.

The state has set up strict guidelines for restaurants in Phase One. 

There are strict rules on cleaning and sanitizing between customers, using disposable menus, and other efforts to minimize the spread of the coronavirus.

Fuller’s Raw Bar in Hampton was one of many restaurants that opened its outdoor dining area at half capacity.

John Ledbetter and Gary McIntyre are co-owners of the seafood restaurant. They had to close for about a month, but finally reopened a couple weeks ago. Friday was another step forward.

“It's great and couldn't be better weather,” Ledbetter said. “I think it's a good time for people to continue being safe, but I know a lot of people want to get out and as long as we do it safely it will be okay.”

“We want to play by the rules and do things correctly and as long as everyone has that philosophy, we'll be just fine,” McIntyre said. “Everyone has to get back in their groove and we're looking forward to doing that and giving people a great experience.