Dine outdoors this summer

Bass Coast Shire Council has been working closely with local business and tourism associations to identify and activate spaces for outdoor dining across the Shire.

These outdoor dining innovations have been made possible through the State Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, of which Council received $250,000 as part of the roadmap out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Now summer is upon us, it is the perfect time to see Bass Coast towns opened up for alfresco dining, with The Inlet Hotel at Inverloch one of the first to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.

With the benefit of fast-tracked approvals, The Inlet has created a new outdoor dining ‘parklet’, which has seen parking bays used to create additional space for outdoor dining.

Bass Coast Shire Mayor, Cr Brett Tessari said that getting outdoor spaces activated so quickly was testament to the hard work of local traders, tourism and business associations and Council.

“The pandemic has had a devastating effect on the hospitality industry so these increased dining options will help draw people back into our towns, so residents and visitors can support local businesses and boost the economy,” Cr Tessari said.

“Council has been actively encouraging and supporting hotels, cafes and restaurants to expand operations by delivering quality outdoor dining options just in time for summer and it has been great to see this enthusiasm reciprocated by local business owners and tourism groups.

“It has also been great to see a real focus on providing alternate queuing and dining areas to assist with pedestrian traffic flow and that accessibility has been front of mind when creating these spaces,” Cr Tessari concluded.

The Inlet’s John McInnes said he was impressed with the encouragement and support his business had received from Council, to expand its outdoor dining area.

“The hands on support provided by many teams within Council has been excellent,” Mr McInnes said.

“We can now safely seat 48 additional diners in our parklet space and this will definitely assist with recovery from impacts associated with COVID-19. The space is already heavily booked and we are looking forward to a very busy summer period.”

Cr Tessari said as well as supporting hospitality businesses to make the most of this opportunity, Council is creating some outdoor dining spaces for the community to use and enjoy, in time for the busy school holiday period.

“These temporary spaces will be set up in public locations across the Shire, including at Olive Justice Place in Cowes and in the Grantville and San Remo town centres,” Cr Tessari said.

“Our Business Support Team has also created a town takeaway program using QR codes, to make it even easier for visitors to support local businesses.”

As part of activating these exciting new outdoor spaces, some changes will be made to traffic conditions on A’Beckett Street in Inverloch and The Esplanade, Cowes from 14 December. Where necessary, speed limits will be lowered and electronic signs will be in place to inform road users of the changes.

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