A small section of Northwest 2nd Avenue will be closed to traffic every last weekend of the month from July through September, to create a “streatery” in downtown Canby.
A collaboration between the city’s economic development office, the Canby Area Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses, and inspired by similar initiatives being implemented in downtown corridors in cities across the country, it’s intended to allow restaurants and cafes — including the nearby Gwynn’s Coffeehouse and Wayward Sandwiches — to expand their outdoor dining capacity.
Under coronavirus guidelines that require increased distance among tables and, typically, drastically reduce the number of diners restaurants are able to seat, many have already turned to sidewalk, patio and other outdoor options.
Down the street, the Backstop Bar & Grill has surrounded itself with outdoor tables and benches — which are typically full in nice weather — while the Wild Hare Saloon on Highway 99E was able to add enough tables to its covered patio and other outdoor space to basically offset the seats it lost inside.
The streatery concept gives enterprising restaurant owners more real estate to play with, as well as a fun concept that city officials hope will draw visitors to downtown Canby in some of the ways that large events will not be able to this year.
In Canby, the “Streatery” was the initial brainchild of Councilor Sarah Spoon, who pitched it to Mayor Brian Hodson and other city officials in May.
“I am so proud of our city staff for developing good relationships with our Chamber of Commerce and our local businesses,” Spoon said. “An idea is nothing without visionaries and hard-working people who make it actually happen. They have developed an amazing opportunity and experience for our growing downtown and all of the Canby residents who love coming down here as much as I do.”
Canby’s Streatery will be a half-block section of Northwest 2nd Avenue between Holly and the raised crosswalk near Wells Fargo Bank. Shoppers, diners and pedestrians will have access, and restaurants have been invited to provide seating for their guests in the fresh air and sunshine.
Wayward Sandwiches, which was already bringing live music to its outdoor patio on Fridays and Saturdays, plans to incorporate the streatery space as well, once it opens.
“We hope that this effort complements the Canby Farmer’s Market activity on Saturday mornings, and provides extra seating for dining establishments, which may have had to reduce their seating capacity indoors,” the announcement from the city of Canby said. “You may even choose to bring your own chair and have the unique experience of enjoying your coffee, pastries, lunch or dinner while seated in the middle of Canby’s Main Street!”
Visitors are asked to continue to observe social distancing within the “Streatery,” and be sure to patronize the surrounding businesses. In addition to Gwynn’s and Wayward, Barn Door Boutique & Decor, Canby Gifts and Toys, Panaderia Oaxaca and Pappy’s Greasy Spoon are just steps away from this location and remain open for business.
The Streatery will be open from 5 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Sunday on the last weekend of each month between July and September. Initially announced to begin this weekend, city officials and downtown businesses decided to postpone the launch until July, citing a lack of prep time.
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