City of Pensacola plan would close Palafox, allow restaurants, retailers to set up on sidewalks

Coronavirus

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The City of Pensacola is working on a plan to help businesses and restaurants in downtown Pensacola rebound after lost sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday during his virtual press conference the city is working with the Downtown Improvement Board (DIB) on a plan to close Palafox Place/Street on the weekends.

The idea is that restaurants would set up tables for guests on the sidewalks; retailers could set up merchandise booths on the sidewalk; and patrons could walk up and down the streets of Palafox in an open air environment.

The plan calls for a 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. closure on Friday and Saturdays, and all day closures on Sunday.

Robinson said he believes this could help increase food and merchandise sales in the downtown Pensacola area.

Robinson said the city is in the process of working out the logistics with the DIB, and the plan could be finalized this week and implemented by the weekend. If the plan is not ready by this weekend, it could be implemented the following weekend.

Robinson said this should only happen during the month of May and emphasized “this is not a gallery night.”

The plan is only designed to help businesses and not to encourage crowds of people to congregate downtown.

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