Published on 19 November 2020
Outdoor dining in Mornington’s Main Street is up and running, with local businesses welcoming the return of visitors for the first weekend of trading.
Main Street between Barkly Street and the Esplanade was closed to traffic and opened up to pedestrians last Friday to provide more space for outdoor dining and help local businesses bounce back from lockdown.
All 11 new councillors, including new Mayor Despi O’Connor, visited Main Street on Tuesday to view the project, which includes the repurposing of car parking spaces outside shop fronts for outdoor dining areas called parklets.
Jill Henderson, who owns the Winey Cow café, told councillors the changes had provided a real boost to local traders.
“We have used the parklet this weekend with great success and the street closure has been very positive so far.
“Our customers and everyone we have spoken too are in great support of the initiative and the vibe on the weekend was wonderful. Social distancing was also easily achieved with the road closure and all our customers adhered to the rules.”
Mayor Despi O’Connor said: “So far, outdoor dining has been hugely popular with visitors and locals alike, which augurs well for summer.”
“Creating a pedestrian-friendly environment has increased the amenity of Main Street, with less noise and exhaust fumes from cars. It also makes it a safer, more inviting and pleasant dining and shopping experience, which people will enjoy and which will hopefully encourage them to stay longer and keep coming back.
“It also promotes walking and cycling, which is good for people’s health and the environment. With the Bay Trail and beaches at the doorstep of Main Street, it will make it even more inviting to take a stroll or ride your bike to Mornington.
“I realise it’s been inconvenient for some people, with slightly fewer car parking spaces available, but it’s a small price to pay to keep our village centres alive and allow our local businesses to operate in a COVID-safe way.
“We have been mindful of the need to ensure there are enough accessible parking bays nearby for those with a disability. That’s hugely important.
“I look forward to working with Chambers of Commerce and business groups across the Peninsula on the rollout of outdoor dining in our townships this summer.”
More information, including a map of the relocated accessible parking bays around Main Street, can be found at: mornpen.vic.gov.au/outdoordining