SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A street in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is shutting down starting Thursday for bars, restaurants and other businesses to create more space for customers.
From Thursday to Saturday, Fifth Avenue will be closed between G and L streets as a way to help break up potential overcrowding as downtown businesses reopen.
The street closure will start at 11 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, with “Curbside Gaslamp” running from 3 p.m.-12 a.m. on both days.BEFORE AND AFTER IMAGES OF PROPOSED PROMONADE
On Saturday, the street closure will begin at 8 a.m., with the street event running from 12 p.m.-12 a.m.
Handicap/ADA parking spots on the stretch of Fifth Avenue will be moved to side streets, and a 20-foot fire lane will be in place in the middle of the street for emergency access and safety.
10News learned the following businesses will take part in the curbside program this weekend:
- Bubbles Boutique
- Café Sevilla
- El Chingon
- Havana 1920
- Rustic Root (will start curbside on Friday)
With the stretch of Fifth Avenue shut down, restaurants, bars and other businesses will be able to expand into the street. Customers will have to wear face coverings or masks and at least 6 feet of physical distancing is required.
Aron Langellier, the general manager of barleymash on Fifth Avenue, is one of the businesses ready for the changes.
“It was our idea to bring it out into the streets where it’s open. It’s safer for everybody to have the open air versus being closed inside,” Langellier told 10News.
According to Langellier, barleymash is adding 10 tables in the street and keeping them socially distanced.
Langelier said barleymash is at about one-third of their normal occupancy, and he believes expanding into the street will help with business.
“With this, we’re going to get another 10 tables out of it, which for us is a big deal,” he said.
Gaslamp Quarter Association Executive Director Michael Trimble told 10News that he expects more businesses to join in the program every weekend.
According to Trimble, the plan is to expand the closure on July 1. Trimble said the association obtained a permit that would allow Curbside Gaslamp to continue through the end of the year.
A glimpse into downtown's future?
Even before Curbside Gaslamp, the Gaslamp Quarter Association had pitched plans to create permanent promenades throughout the downtown area, which would lead to the closure of several streets.
The group suggested a promenade on Fifth Avenue last October, and Curbside Gaslamp could be a preview and a jumpstart to the future of the area.
Trimble said, “This is going to give people a preview of what the new program, the new project is going to look like. This is something that’s kind of a test, for San Diego to come down [and] experience what it’s like to have the streets open. It’s a much freer and much better experience to enjoy the Gaslamp Quarter.”
The GQA provided these artist renderings of what a potential promenade on Fifth Avenue could look like: