Alfresco drinking and dining is coming to Brick Lane.
Bustling Brick Lane hasn’t returned to its pre-COVID bloom just yet, but projects are afoot to draw the punters back safely and responsibly. Following the pattern set by Soho and then Seven Dials, Brick Lane will be shut to motor vehicles from August 27, to create more space for the pedestrians and diners who’ve transformed this corner of East London into one of the capital’s favoured tourist spots.
It’s necessary to note that the whole street won’t be pedestrianised (although that would give room for one hell of a street party, I might say). Instead, four parts will be shut to vehicles, consisting of the four sections between Chicksand Street and Fashion Street, Fournier Street and Princelet Street, Princelet Street and Hanbury Street, and Buxton Street and the railway bridge. The plan is set to last until November 5, giving the area enough time to make a recovery from the economic damages sustained as a result of the lockdown.
The result will be an increased area for walking and outdoor seating, forming a happy intersection between social distancing and lively restaurants and bars. Though local restaurants have been following COVID-19 safety guidelines, the return of visitors has understandably been a tad slow – so the new initiative is an appropriate addition. New licensing laws will allow food business to apply for outdoor table service, thus raising the number of customers they can serve at any one time. John Biggs, the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, has said: “We hope that the offer of outdoor seating, greenery and more space for pedestrians will encourage residents and visitors to support local shops, markets and businesses.”
Come on, Londoners… We know what to do: Keep your hands clean, wear a mask (where physical distancing is not cannot be maintained), support your favourite spots and let’s set Covid-19 loose. [You know what I mean 😉 ]