ORLANDO, Fla. - A pilot program launched in Orlando's Thornton Park neighborhood to help local businesses through the pandemic is here to stay.
The parklet program that adds extra seating along East Washington Street has been extended by the City of Orlando for another three years.
"It gives them that little extra seating for people to feel confident that I can drink and hang out without dealing with a pandemic," said patron Bernard Miller.
Miller enjoys coming to the cozy center and taking advantage of the parklet program seating. He feels the extra spots adds to the atmosphere and provide much more to local businesses.
"It gave them the lifeline to recover," said Miller, who saw five of his favorite restaurants close. "It’s been a very trying, trying situation for businesses and their patrons."
They quickly become a crowd-pleaser at Cavo’s Bar and Kitchen. They are happy to see the city extend the program.
"Not only does everyone have decent patios out here, and if we had these it’s just more attractive, it brings people down here," said Managing Partner Mark Cavallini.
The parklets do take up some parking in an area that was hard to find a space before. Although, local residents don’t seem to mind.
"People could Uber anyways because if you’re going to be drinking, you shouldn’t be parking," said local resident Alex Catino.
A total of five restaurants on East Washington Street have parklets. With this extension, more could be popping up.