Bellevue’s Outdoor Summer Dining Program Returns For Its 3rd Year

BELLEVUE, WA — Tuesday marked the official return of downtown Bellevue’s outdoor dining season, as the city’s “Al Fresco” program enters its third year.

Originally designed as a way for restaurants to serve more customers safely in the early months of the pandemic, amid indoor capacity restrictions, officials said the expanded outdoor dining options became a popular summer fixture. In a news release Tuesday, the city said a partnership between the Bellevue Downtown Association, Microsoft and Old Bellevue merchants helped transition the program into a long-term seasonal event.

More than 40 restaurants are participating in this year’s program, which will run through mid-September. Neighbors and visitors will see extra dining space in parking lanes outside certain Main Street eateries, and the Bellevue Downtown Association is working to promote other outdoor dining options on sidewalks and properties throughout the city.

“The Al Fresco program on Main Street and across the city supports Bellevue’s efforts to grow as a destination for outdoor dining and fun activities,” said Jesse Canedo, the city’s chief economic development officer. “We’re already looking for ways to continue this type of work in other areas of downtown.”

Restaurants interesting in participating in the program can learn more about securing the right permits on the city’s website, and residents can find an updated map of participating restaurants via the Downtown Bellevue Association. The Bellden Cafe, STK Steakhouse, and Musashi Rollhouse are just a few of the restaurants that have already signed up.

Source: Bellevue Patch