ITHACA, N.Y.—The popular Aurora Streatery, which debuted last June, is returning for at least several months starting April 1, 2021. The outdoor dining scene will assume its former location in the 100 block of N. Aurora Street, commonly referred to as Restaurant Row, and the street will be closed for traffic.

The Streatery will be operating until mid-Fall, barring weather incidents. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance lists the following restaurants as participating in the Streatery: Luna Inspired Street FoodRed’s PlaceMahogany Grill, and Simeon’s American Bistro.

Last year, as the pandemic raged onward, the Streatery was introduced as a way to help restaurants expand their outdoor seating and hopefully mitigate some of the harmful impacts of the economic shutdown. It was undeniably popular for those who were willing to be in public, though as COVID-19 anxiety hopefully subsides, the Streatery could become even more popular in 2021.

No traffic will be allowed on that block of Aurora Street, the same as last year. There will be detour signs posted—northbound traffic on North Aurora Street will be rerouted to East State Street, Seneca Way and East Seneca Street, while westbound traffic on East State Street will be rerouted to East Seneca Street until that block is reopened.

“We look forward to once again hosting the Aurora Streatery. Closing Restaurant Row to expand outdoor dining during the warmer months benefits our community in multiple ways. Patrons will be able to enjoy safe and socially distant dining experiences in a relaxing outdoor setting and restaurants will be able to safely accommodate more diners while continuing to adhere to the State’s COVID-19 guidelines,” says Gary Ferguson, executive director for the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.

Similar restrictions remain in place as were in effect last year, such as mask requirements (but not while seated) and spacing. New York State’s current COVID-19 guidelines allow restaurants to have 75 percent of their indoor dining capacity.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com