Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh today announced that outdoor dining in Armory Square known as “Weekends on Walton,” will start back up on Fridays and Saturdays beginning the weekend of June 4 – 5. The 100 block and part of the 200 block of Walton Street will close to traffic, allowing storefront businesses use of the public right of way (ROW) to maximize the outdoor space to service customers.
“The success of ‘Weekends on Walton’ is a great example of how we were able to utilize public infrastructure to help local businesses and members of the community get through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am excited that we are able to bring it back this year to support our ongoing recovery. Our City team, with help from the Downtown Committee, also came up with ways to adapt the program to make it better for all this year.”
This year, the street closure will only take place from 7 a.m. on Friday mornings to 7 a.m. on Sunday mornings. An additional change will include the closure of the 200 block of Walton Street up to the Creekwalk, leaving the remaining portion of the block open to traffic and for parking.
As the coronavirus pandemic created a need for businesses owners to find ways to accommodate employees and customers safely, “Weekends on Walton” became a popular attraction increasing business throughout downtown. The initiative is a collaboration between the City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) and the Downtown Committee, with help from the Department of Parks, Recreation & Youth Services, Department of Public Works, Central Permit Office, and the Syracuse Fire Department.
The list of participating businesses that will provide outdoor dining experiences include:
- Pita Dream
- The Hops Spot
- Blue Tusk
- Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar
- Margaritas Mexican Cantina
- The Limerick Pub
Prior to reintroducing the program, NBD considered the results from a survey created and distributed to property owners, retailers, restaurants and office tenants in the area. The largest group of respondents was made up of business owners who overwhelmingly indicated they would like to see “Weekends of Walton” return. Close to 92% of those who took the survey wanted the program to continue at least one day out of the week.
“As dining al fresco season returns to Downtown Syracuse, Weekends on Walton provides a wonderful atmosphere to soak up the sunshine and take advantage of warmer temperatures as we get ready for summer,” said Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, Inc. “With Kasai, Pita Dream, The Hops Spot and other Armory Square restaurants also participating in our special summer edition of Downtown Dining Weeks – which starts June 1 – we hope you’ll consider letting our delicious restaurants cook for you next weekend. Pair your outdoor dining experience with a walk around Downtown Syracuse, and explore one of 30 new businesses to have opened in the last year.”
For an updated list of participating businesses and information related to parking options, visit https://downtownsyracuse.com/weekends-walton. The Atrium Garage located at 115 W. Fayette St. and the Clinton Street Garage located at 401 S. Clinton St. will also be available. Other transportation options are available, including CENTRO bus routes or using the Onondaga Creekwalk which directly connects to Walton Street for pedestrian and cyclists.
The City of Syracuse has made information available on how businesses in other neighborhoods and locations can apply to use the right of way (ROW). An updated guide to summer dining including links to City ROW applications and conceptual diagrams for storefront businesses can be found online at bit.ly/SyrSummer2021ROWGuide. Questions related to the City’s ROW permit application process can be directed to Bob Moore in the Central Permit Office by phone at 315-448-4754 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.