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Outdoor dining venture at Sixth Street Park in Tempe put on hold

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PHOENIX — A new outdoor dining venture won’t be coming to downtown Tempe on Thursday as originally planned.

A day after announcing that Sixth Street Park would be the location of the Downtown Eats pilot program, the city of Tempe put it on hold Wednesday.

The city said the start of the program was postponed because of rising COVID-19 numbers.

“While we have implemented many creative approaches this year to help our local businesses prosper during these difficult times, we feel compelled to pause this particular effort while we watch regional case numbers,” Mayor Corey Woods said in a press release.

“I hope we can move forward with this soon.”

Downtown Eats was meant to provide the ability to dine and drink beer or wine while outside at the park without a permit during certain hours. Liquor and mixed drinks were not part of the program.

As designed, patrons had to order to-go or delivery from a downtown Tempe restaurant and then bring the meals to Sixth Street Park, where bistro-style tables and chairs would be available.

Here are the program details as announced before it was delayed:

  • Park hours for dining are Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Signage will be posted around the park with a QR code that will provide information on restaurants and a menu for to-go or delivery items.
  • No glass containers are allowed and only those 21 and older may consume beer or wine while inside Sixth Street Park.
  • When leaving the Downtown Eats area, all beer and wine must be in a sealed container and can only be consumed while inside the park.
  • Social distancing will also be enforced for all those that are not in the same household.

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