As more outdoor tables added to Atwells Ave on weekends, residents express concern
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)– Diners looking for more al fresco options will be in luck Friday, as a portion of Atwells Avenue, in Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood, will be blocked off to traffic for expanded outdoor tables.
The idea, first proposed by Rick Simone of the Federal Hill Commerce Association, has been welcomed by businesses, hungry for more customers following weeks of a shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re excited about it,” said Jamie Antignano, owner of Angelo’s Civita Farnese. “We get to go into the street, have more tables, and obviously get to see our guests again which we love.”
The road will continue to be closed on weekends throughout the summer, which has not been greeted with excitement by all of Federal Hill’s residents.
Some of the residents of Sister Dominica Manor expressed concern that bus service on the avenue will be disrupted. In addition, some are concerned that the pandemic is far from over, and crowding at tables could help usher in a return of the virus’s spread.
Business owners seemed to think the added space would help with distancing, and create a safer experience for everyone.
” I think when people get more comfortable with going out and see all the safety precautions were using, I think its going to bring a lot more people to the hill,” Antignano said.
©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020