PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. (KION) The scene was crowded in downtown Pacific Grove on Friday as the city shut down a couple portions of Lighthouse Avenue beginning that day and lasting for 30 days.
The city is doing this to allow businesses and restaurants to maximize seating, designed to help the shops make more money.
"Everybody is really looking forward to having things look kind of normal, even though the tables are all six feet apart in the restaurants," said Skip, a Pebble Beach resident.
Lighthouse Avenue is closed to traffic between 16th Street and Forest and Grand and Fountain Avenues for 24 hours a day and seven days a week for the next month.
"This is a trial program. We're opening this up to any PG businesses, not just businesses here in the downtown," said Ben Harvey, the Pacific Grove city manager.
"So it's nice to get out and see people. And this is fun with music and food and some sunshine," said Liz, another Pebble Beach resident.
Several restaurants set up dining tables out on the street equipped with heat lamps and fire pits. Plenty of people showed up. But not everyone likes the all day, for 30 days, closure.
The Pacific Grove Chamber of Commerce surveyed 33 businesses in downtown, and only a couple of restaurants were in favor. Less parking means certain officers and shops are more difficult to access.
"There are retailers, there are professionals such as engineers, architects, CPAs and what have you on the second floor," said Moe Ammar, the president of the PG Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber is suggesting closing the street down after 5:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays only. The city, however, says that is a bit complicated.
"Rolling out a hard street closure like we have here with K-rail and barricades and lights strung out across the street… it's a significant effort," said Harvey. "The restaurants (are) bringing out all their heaters and their fire pits. So it's not practical or feasible to roll that in, roll that out every couple days, it's a huge amount of effort."
The street closure will last for 30 days after which the city will consider its effectiveness before deciding what to do next.