When Virginia first started loosening restrictions around the delivery of alcohol, Mayor Justin Wilson and other leaders noted that it was going to be difficult to get that particular cat back in the bag once the pandemic is over.
Eased restrictions around alcohol was just the start, and in the year since the city went into lockdown during the pandemic, the city has loosened some of its restrictions on outdoor dining, takeout, and curbside pickup parking spots to help struggling local businesses.
All along King Street, outdoor dining patios often straddle the pedestrian parts of the sidewalk. Locations that had limited or no outdoor dining, like Hops N Shine in Arlandria, opened outdoor patios. Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap in Del Ray even turned its parking deck into a small tropical bar.
With vaccine distribution continuing to increase and more retail and restaurants opening spaces to customers, the question has surfaced: Should the city go back its pre-pandemic restrictions?