Enjoying the summer Al fresco

29 July 2020

Chester City centre is getting ready for a continental feel in August by extending traffic free areas in Eastgate Street, Bridge Street, Watergate Street and Northgate Street (from the Town Hall to the Cross) into the early evening. The extensions will start on 3 August.  

Following positive responses from businesses and residents to an extension Thursday to Sunday, Cheshire West and Chester Council is now proposing to extend the Al fresco opportunities all week until 8pm.

The original consultation took place before the announcement of the Governments Eat Out to Help Out promotion. More than 53,000 businesses across the UK have now signed up to Eat Out to Help Out, there are over 70 city centre businesses now registered with the scheme that offers 50 per cent off food and non-alcoholic drinks up to a total value of £10 per person when you eat or drink in.

The promotion runs every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 August and 31 August. There is no minimum spend, no vouchers are needed, and the offer can be used as many times as you like.

Councillor Karen Shore, The Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said: “To ensure as many businesses as possible can benefit from the Eat Out to Help Out promotion we are now extending the opportunities for Al fresco that was originally planned for the weekends.

“For any businesses still wanting to offer Al fresco, there is no charge to apply for a licence.  Offering outdoor or Al fresco dining to customers helps to increase seating capacity and provides an outside area in front of their premises for customers.”

Mark Williams, owner of Bridge St Coffee said: "Chester has a renowned and interesting food and beverage scene, which will only be improved by an increased Al fresco European style offering. This is a positive step that will help support businesses in the city by giving us the opportunity to offer longer outside trading hours and help us bring the hospitality sector back to life.”

To make an application for Al fresco, businesses will be asked for:
  • a site plan showing the location and dimensions of the area and its associated furniture
  • a valid insurance policy
  • premises licence (where applicable)
Visit the Council's website.

There is no need to complete the application form if there is already a license in place, unless any changes need to be made.  The licence will automatically have the free period added on.

Full list of businesses taking part in Eat Out to Help Out, visit the GOV.UK website.

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