Where to Dine This Summer: Going Alfresco in Marin

If we are looking for silver linings during the Covid-19 pandemic, one obvious one is how local businesses and cities are pivoting to keep our residents healthy and the economy moving forward. As Marin continues to navigate the murky reopening process, towns and small businesses are busy crafting innovative ways to welcome back their customers while following safety guidelines. Here are some new events throughout the county that have been created to help local restaurants and stores bounce back.

Dining Under the Lights – San Rafael

The San Rafael Downtown Business Improvement District is holding Dining Under the Lights Thursday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. so that local restaurants can expand into the street, and customers can enjoy Fourth Street under a myriad of Tivoli Lights. It’s scheduled to run the rest of the summer, closing down Lincoln Ave to D Street and Shaver Street to G Street with all cross streets except Cijos.

Miller Avenue Closure – Mill Valley

The City of Mill Valley is closing down Miller Avenue between Throckmorton and Sunnyside Avenue starting at 4 p.m. Friday, July 24 through Sunday, July 26 to accommodate outdoor dining. It is unconfirmed whether this event will be ongoing. This is a response to a similar, successful earlier event titled #MillerTakeover which also saw the closure of Miller Avenue between Sunnyside and Throckmorton Avenue. Parts of the Downtown Plaza is being used for additional outdoor dining to accommodate larger seating areas. In a creative twist, Bungalow 44 has converted their once bustling parking lot into an expansive outdoor seating area to accommodate more customers.

Downtown Novato Outdoor Dining – Novato

The City of Novato is hosting Downtown Novato Outdoor Dining with the Downtown Business Association. Grant Avenue will be closed down every weekend starting at 1 p.m on Friday through 7 a.m. on Monday to ensure there is a larger space availalbe for outdoor dining and small businesses.

Caledonia Street Dining Program – Sausalito

The City of Sausalito started the Caledonia Street Dining Program on July 2. It closes Caledonia Street between Pine and Johnson streets and runs from dinner on Thursdays and lunch and dinner on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The street reopens at 9 p.m. Restaurants currently participating include Fast Food Francais, Sartaj, Sandrino and Osteria Divino.

Menke Park Space – Corte Madera

The town of Corte Madera is utilizing two parking areas adjacent to Menke Park to provide local restaurants and businesses with much needed relief intended to house meetings and additional dining spaces. The program will run through the summer months, Wednesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

On the Avenue – San Anselmo

San Anselmo’s On the Avenue Project began on June 27 to support local businesses. The program shuts down Tamalpais Avenue to Tunstead Avenue and the Pine Street parking lot to Woodland Avenue on weekends starting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday through 11:59 p.m on Sunday to allow local shops and restaurants to expand their outdoor accommodations.

Slow Street Program – Tiburon

Tiburon’s Slow Street Program runs from July 3 until Labor Day, September 6, in an effort to promote local restaurants and businesses by providing a space for customers to shop and dine safely. The program closes down fairly inactive streets from Friday afternoons through Sunday evenings, and closes Main Street during the weekends from Friday to Sunday night. All participating streets will be closed to through traffic.

How to help:

Consider supporting one of these local nonprofits that urgently need support during the pandemic.

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