Montoursville outdoor dining solution _ 2020

Part of the municipal parking lot on Broad Street in Montoursville now has picnic tables so customers of restaurants in the area have a place to eat. Photo courtesy of Facebook/Johnson's Cafe

Montoursville, Pa. – Officials in Montoursville came up with a creative solution for those who would like to dine at borough establishments. On Tuesday, Mayor Steve Bagwell announced that borough workers were closing off a portion of the municipal parking lot on Broad Street and placing tables there.

“They are for everyone to use before and after visiting our borough’s fine local businesses,” Bagwell said on his Facebook page. There are at least six restaurants near the parking lot. 

The public may drink legal adult beverages in the area, but “public intoxication obviously will not be tolerated,” Bagwell added. 

Those who use the tables are encouraged to keep the area safe and clean. Bagwell also asks that people be respectful of social distancing. Trash cans will be available in the area.

The idea came to Bagwell several days ago when he found out that another local restaurant was able to provide outdoor seating by putting tables on an adjacent parking lot. He discussed the idea with Montoursville Borough Council President, Eric Greenway, and the council members agreed to it.

The arrangement for outdoor seating is at no cost, since the picnic tables are tables the borough already owns, Bagwell said. He feels the outdoor seating will provide a morale boost to the community. “It at least shows that we care,” Bagwell said. 

Johnson's Cafe posted their gratitude on Facebook on Tuesday: "We cannot say thank you enough to Mayor Steve Bagwell, Montoursville Borough Council and Montoursville staff for thinking of the businesses by providing tables for customers to eat their lunch/dinner." 

“Council and the mayor recognize these are difficult times. If any business believes we can assist them in any way please let us know,” Bagwell wrote on Facebook. “Our small businesses provide the flavor and character of our community. We deeply appreciate how generous they have been in this most stressful of times and look forward to doing anything we can for them.”