Over 100 Madison Restaurants Join City’s Streatery Program

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WMTV) – More and more Madison businesses are taking advantage of the city’s “Streatery” program to expand headquarters and generate more revenue.

City officials said more than 100 companies had recently applied for a permit to join the program.

The city has extended the program until mid-April next year.

Since its launch in 2020, the City of Madison’s Steatery program has allowed businesses to extend seating to sidewalks, parking lots and streets with a permit.

Now municipal staff are doing community outreach to see what an ongoing program would look like. The goal is to help businesses get back on their feet.

Customers like Brandon Boyd have said eating out is inside.

“We’re a little desperate for this. It doesn’t matter where we sit. We just want to be on the outside, ”Boyd said. “I just need to get out of the house and spend time with each other, and spend time in nature to recharge and reconnect. ”

Lucille’s is one of the many restaurants in Madison that replace parked cars with tables and chairs.

“This is really something exciting. The Streatery is what keeps us surviving right now, ”said Charly Rowe, CEO of Lucille. “Keeping our businesses viable and allowing people to be at their own level of comfort. ”

Lucille’s management said outdoor seating reservations are pouring in, boosting business and capacity.

“It’s so great to see people coming together in these invisible, car-filled spaces,” said Johnny Mathews, Assistant General Manager of Lucille.

Meghan Blake-Horst is Madison’s traveling sales coordinator. She said businesses across town are applying for sidewalk permits to get approval for the program.

“The goal of all of this was to keep businesses alive so they could thrive in the future,” said Blake-Horst. “It is going to take years for people to come out of the struggles and personnel issues they have faced in overcoming covid.”

She said the program spices up the dining scene.

“It changed the landscape of Madison a bit. It’s so much more open, free and fun, ”said Mathews.

Another effort to support businesses is a pop-up store initiative on State Street allowing owners to operate from vacant storefronts. City of Madison officials approved the proposal last week to support entrepreneurs of color.

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