LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — The City of Littleton has put its “Weekends on Main” outdoor dining program on hold.
Every Friday through Sunday, the City shut down Main Street, swapping out cars and trucks for tables and chairs.
“Having the 10 extra tables out on the street was great. It tripled our seating,” explained Carole Bright-Alvarez, owner of iN-TEA, a tea house in Littleton.
“Everyone I talked to said they were up from the year before, so with COVID, that’s incredible,” added Greg Reinke, president of the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchant’s Association.
No one has loved “Weekends on Main” more than Kurt Fisher, owner of the Grande Station restaurant.
Fisher and others are frustrated that the weekend events are now ending in Littleton, with several weeks of summer remaining. They allege the City claimed to have the unanimous support of business owners when deciding to end “Weekends on Main.”
“For them to say we said something we didn’t say, it’s a kick in the gut, a little bit,” Fisher said.
However, the City says that’s not exactly true.
Kelli Narde, a spokesperson for Littleton, tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers the event was never meant to continue into August, and that the $150,000 allotted for “Weekends on Main” has been spent.
Narde says 48 merchants were invited to be a part of a call about the event. She says nine merchants participated, and all of them unanimously wanted to take the rest of the month of August off before resuming the event.
“From the beginning, we said all we could afford to do is about seven weekends. It’s a wonderful program, but it certainly is costly,” said Narde.
Narde tells FOX31 the City of Littleton has secured a grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation to continue the event for several weeks in September and October, after a brief hiatus.
Regardless, some business owners are now fighting for the program’s return much sooner, saying the event was a lifeline when businesses needed it the most.
“I’m hoping we can start up again this weekend. We have the money,” said Reinke.