Cape Town - Hundreds of people congregated in Long Street on Saturday for an open street, open-air dining experience held by the City in partnership with at least 13 restaurants.
The attempt to revitalise the city’s CBD, its economy and to support local businesses was welcomed by residents and international visitors who flocked to the well-known nightlife street to wine and dine under the stars.
Speaking to the Cape Argus, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said the initiative was a measure to encourage economic recovery and greater footfall in the CBD. He said it started last month in Bree Street.
“We all know the impact that Covid-19 has had on the CBD space. More innovative ideas were needed to enhance the attractiveness of our local businesses, especially those that fall within the hospitality industry.
“So we partnered up with a good number of restaurants in the precinct to offer a unique dining experience of gourmet meals and local wines.
“I must say the response we received from this event was overwhelming and exhilarating. The open-air dining experience was well-supported, the mayor said.
“I must reiterate our call to the national government to scrap event-capacity limits which to provide a much-needed boost to the hospitality industry.
“The City’s CBD has always been a centre for entertainment, food and culture, and we are determined to build upon the recovery that we are beginning to see,” Hill-Lewis said.
The Central City Improvement District (CCID) commended the initiative. It said it was in the best interests of the city to create “open streets” that allowed visitors to enjoy downtime in the city and appreciate what the city centre had to offer safely and responsibly during the pandemic.
CCID chief executive Tasso Evangelinos said the occasion was a success and proved once again that Capetonians and visitors were keen to come into the city to have fun in a safe environment and support the local economy.
“The City’s initiative is a great, much-needed boost for retailers and will go a long way in reinvigorating the CBD economy.
“The CCID worked closely with City departments to ensure the success of the Long Street event and those which were held in Bree and Harrington streets recently,” he said.