Downtowns+West+Main+Street+has+been+closed+to+traffic+to+allow+for+outdoor+seating+during+COVID-19+restrictions%2C+however+the+blockage+is+planned+to+remain+despite+loosened+restrictions.

Photo by R. Regnier

Downtown’s West Main Street has been closed to traffic to allow for outdoor seating during COVID-19 restrictions, however the blockage is planned to remain despite loosened restrictions.

Outdoor Eating Controversy

Barricades downtown cause debates between businesses 

In May 2020, the city of Spartanburg introduced outdoor seating to combat COVID-19 and keep citizens safe by eating outdoors. Even though many businesses want to keep outdoor seating an option and keep W. Main Street closed, otherwould like these seating options removed so more people could visit their businesses. 

As a Hub City Scoops employee, Preston Macklin (10) sees both how the outdoor seating helps downtown Spartanburg. 

I personally like the outdoor seating because it brings more people downtown and they can experience everything about Spartanburg. I also understand that it brings more customers to the restaurants andit also helps their company grow,” Macklin said.  

“I personally like the outdoor seating because it brings more people downtown and they can experience everything about Spartanburg. I also understand that it brings more customers to the restaurants and…it also helps their company grow” ”

— Preston Macklin

Even though restaurant owners are seeing a steady income continue with the closure of W. Main Street, retailers would like the street reopened. The temporary closure has stirred confusion and driven customers from their businesses. Not only does the closure make it harder for retailers, but it has also affected how citizens have been able to maneuver around downtown. 

As an active member of the community, Martha Bishop (10) no longer thinks this seating is necessary. 

I think they are kind of annoying at this point considering we have a vaccine out and cases have gone down considerably, and I end up having to go out of my way because I can’t cross that road so I think they should move them,” Bishop said 

As of this year, there are no new updates on whether the blockage will turn permanent or renovations will happen in downtown. 

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