Medford City Council votes to extend state of emergency, restaurant parklets to remain open

MEDFORD, Ore.– What started out as a last ditch effort to keep businesses afloat.

Now becoming a standard during the pandemic.

Medford City Council voted Thursday to continue outdoor parklet seating for restaurants.

It says it’s the seventh extension of the mayor’s state of emergency due to the coronavirus.

Now, local businesses like Bricktowne brewing in downtown Medford will get to continue using what some say is a great asset.

“Our parklets have been a game changer. It has helped us give the community a place to socialize, to stay dry and warm,” says BricktownE owner Carrie McPheeters.

Bricktowne brewing is just one of the many restaurants making the most of their outdoor property.

When indoor dining restrictions were announced in Jackson County, McPheeters says its outdoor seating area in the parking spaces on central avenue saved the day.

“It’s helped Bricktowne stay afloat with some of the unexpected revenue.”

McPheeters isn’t alone. Her customers say the outdoor seating offers a refreshing environment.

“We need a place after work to socialize. And with a little bit of fire, and hospitality from Bricktowne, its a comfortable place to be,” said Bricktowne customer Maurice Hernandez.

One city official says it’s working on an ordinance to allow parklets permanently.

McPheeters says she’s already planning that their parklet remains a mainstay.

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