When the Mid-Hudson region entered Phase 2 of New York state’s reopening plan, that meant village of Warwick shoppers can enter a retail store to make a purchase or dine outside at a restaurant.
That gave birth to an interesting idea, which was spearheaded by Mayor Michael Newhard.
The plan would be to close Main Street and perhaps also Railroad Avenue and Spring Street to vehicular traffic from 4:00 to 10:00 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. was approved by the Village Board of Trustees at a virtual meeting on Monday, June 15.
Railroad and Spring streets are controlled by the village and can be closed. Main Street is actually Route 94, a state road, and the plan requires the permission of the New York State Department of Transportation, the approval of the Board of Trustees and temporary licenses from the State Liquor Authority for restaurants to serve drinks at these outdoor tables.
“The Board of Trustees have given the green light to send out the DOT application for closure of Route 94 from Welling Place to Main and West,” Newhard said on Tuesday. “The application was already in draft form for the Board to review and will be finalized and go out today.”
He explained that the application includes a map along with detour and safety plan.
That would allow restaurants to set up tables on what would effectively be a pedestrian mall. It would also attract visitors to retail stores.
“We will be reaching out to our restaurants,” he said, “to begin the process for temporary licenses from the State Liquor Authority for expanded dining as well as insurance certificates and hold harmless agreements. If we receive all the approvals we hope this will begin Thursday evening, June 25, and occur for four consecutive weeks. Many moving parts!”
Michael Johndrow, executive director of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, reported that the hard hit restaurant owners and other merchants are very receptive about this plan.
“It’s pretty exciting,” he said,.” And we plan to decorate the downtown area and make it festive.”