Downtown Morgantown gets first ever dining parklet

(WDTV)
Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 7:08 PM EDT
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With limited seating available in restaurants due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the community took a step outside to come up with a plan.

Nikki Bowman Mills, the publisher and editor for Morgantown Magazine, along with her husband, Michael Mills, who is also principal of Mills Group created and coordinated what they call dining parklets. Essentially, these will be parking spots turned into a place to sit and enjoy your meal or drinks. The dining area will be outside of the restaurant and bar, Tin 202 on High Street.

“We’re very excited that we’re receiving the first parklet in the history of Morgantown,” said the restaurant co-owner, Chris Evans.

The dining area will seat an additional 20 people. It’s a direct response to the COVID-19 guidelines for restaurants. Those helping with the project said they hope this will be a way for people to enjoy dining services at a safe distance.

“All the restaurants here are kind of struggling to make their money,” Michael said. “So this was a way to allow them to increase the population of their dining, and bring some life back to downtown,” he said.

Reviving the downtown area was a community effort, but for those involved, they say it’s worth it.

“All of our people live in these communities and it was just an easy choice for us when Michael asked if we could donate the blocks,” said Steve Rogers, from Central Supply. The building supply company donated concrete walls to outline the area.

“I think it’s great for the community and makes for an exciting night out on the town,” Evans said.

Those involved in the project are looking to expand the dining parklets across the downtown area and said it will be beneficial even after the pandemic. On June 5 and 6, they will be raising money through dining reservations. For more information on the fundraiser, you can call Tin 202 or Nikki Mills (nikki@newsouthmediainc.com).