Outside dining at Spokes in downtown Watertown. Watertown Daily Times

WATERTOWN — The state will allow outdoor seating at north country restaurants beginning Thursday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday that outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in Phase II of reopening for the north country and six other regions in the state.

Scott A. Gray, chairman of the Jefferson County Legislature, said he found out about the outdoor seating during a teleconference call between the state and the Control Room, the group overseeing the rollout of the economy after businesses were temporarily shut down due the coronavirus outbreak.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Gray said he was advocating daily with the governor’s office to open up outdoor restaurant seating because of the importance of the restaurant and tourism industry in the north country.

He said that regions across the state were trying to convince the governor’s office to allow it. Restaurants have been shut down since March because of the coronavirus.

He was advising village and towns to immediately amend local laws that would allow for outdoor seating in restaurants in their communities.

Plans called for expanding the footprint in front of restaurants so that it would create more space between tables to meet state social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic.

Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Councilwoman Sarah Compo suggested that the city make sure its laws for outdoor seating would be in place for all of the city. Downtown restaurants can put up tables for outdoor seating.

The other regions that opened last Friday under Phase II of the reopening of the economy are: Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the Southern Tier and Western New York.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(1) comment


Does graham's dive have any outdoor seating? Perhaps in the back with the dumpsters?

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.