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Posted on: May 20, 2020

OpenNorfolk Innovates Outdoor Dining Spaces

Boush Street lane closure adds on-street parking, multi-purpose path

NORFOLK, VA – A sidewalk transforms into space for tables, on-street parking becomes a parklet, a parking lot becomes a beautiful outdoor dining patio? Well, the possibilities are endless. OpenNorfolk is helping local restaurant, bar and retail owners open safely under Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s phase one guidelines.  This program prioritizes equity and is for the whole City of Norfolk.  Since launching May 14, more than 70 businesses have signed on to participate and receive free, hands-on help for everything from safely locating outdoor dining, to building parklets, placing furniture, and hanging outdoor lighting and signage.

In Downtown, several Granby Street restaurants are using on-street parking spots to extend their dining space. To ensure there is plenty of on-street parking, the outside lanes of Boush Street between Martin’s Lane and Bute Street are being transformed into free, two-hour on-street parking and a multi-use path for walking, biking and dog-walking. The multi-use path allows people to get to and from their cars, walk their dogs, and exercise while maintaining 6-feet of physical distance (see diagrams on the following pages).

OpenNorfolk is a program developed by the City of Norfolk in partnership with Team Better BlockYard & Co., Work Program Architects, and the Downtown Norfolk Council. A free resource guide and toolkit with downloadable guides, signs, and stencils are available for businesses at Interested small businesses should email

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