East Passyunk Reverses Course on Street Closure for Outdoor Dining Event Citing Safety

Five blocks of East Passyunk Avenue was set to be closed this weekend to allow eateries and stores to have more space for dining and shopping. Now, the plan has been placed on hold indefinitely

Diners at outside tables along a street
Mitch Blacher / NBC10

A much-anticipated closure of one of Philadelphia’s best-known restaurant and shopping destinations is now being postponed over new concerns about the coronavirus.

East Passyunk Avenue was set to close five blocks to vehicular traffic to allow for outdoor dining and shopping while allowing for social distancing, but now the “Open on the Avenue” pilot program, which was set to last for three days (July 10-12) starting Friday, is being delayed indefinitely.

“Just as the City has been constantly evaluating reopening guidance on a daily basis, East Passyunk Avenue has been doing the same. Given a number of outside circumstances, we have decided to postpone Open on the Avenue,” the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District said on its website.

The outdoor event was set to be the first of its kind in the city's phased reopening from the coronavirus shutdown.

The group said it will provide a new date “very soon” and looks forward to implementing the Open on the Avenue program “in a way that will be beneficial for our small businesses as well as a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.”

The news of the cancellation comes as Philadelphia and other cities see an upswing in new COVID-19 infections after reopening more industries and easing lockdowns.

Though “Open on the Avenue” is postponed, the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District reminded residents that businesses along the thoroughfare are still open, including restaurants offering outdoor dining.

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