At a special called meeting Friday morning, the Corbin City Commission approved a motion to close portions of Third Street so that it may be used for outdoor dining.
City Manager Marlon Sams made the request of the commissioners.
Under Gov. Andy Beshear’s recent executive order that went into effect Tuesday, restaurants are limited to 25 percent of their seating capacity, indoors. However, there are no limitations on outdoor seating capacity.
Kristen Smith, founder and owner of The Wrigley Taproom and Eatery on Main Street, attended the meeting to voice her support.
“It is crucial that we do that right now,” Smith told the commissioners concerning the outdoor seating.
“By winter time, we won’t have restaurants,” she said of downtown without additional seating.
Questions were brought up during the meeting concerning what, if any, liability the city would face should restaurant patrons bring alcoholic drinks from the restaurants to the outdoor seating area provided by the city, and whether that was an option.
After reviewing the state guidelines, City Attorney Bob Hammons told the commissioners that the restaurants would need to speak with the companies that provide their liability insurance to provide coverage for the city.
In addition, the city would have to approve the sale of alcohol in outdoor areas, and the restaurants would have to follow ABC guidelines.
“It goes beyond putting a tent up,” Hammons said.
Friday’s motion permits the closing of the street and portions of the alleys that run between Main and Depot Street, and Main and Kentucky Ave. to permit the restaurants to erect patio seating.
The closure will be effective through Aug. 16.
“We could have additional special called meetings,” Mayor Suzie Razmus said if the commissioners want to consider extending the closure.
Smith said The Wrigley would have its patio, providing 12 additional seats, in place within the next week.
By Friday afternoon the street had been closed and tents and seating had been set up.