Motorists who typically travel along Locke Street will have to make a detour for the next bunch of weekends, as a stretch of the popular street will be closed to vehicular traffic through most of the day on Saturdays for the next seven weeks.
That’s because the street is launching a new program called Seven Saturdays on Locke, which will allow the street’s numerous popular restaurants to extend their seating into the roadways for a day-long outdoor dining district.
To make way for the initiative, the stretch of Locke Street between Hunter and Stanley will be closed off for the next seven consecutive Saturdays from 9 am to 11 pm beginning with August 1st and ending on September 12th.
View this post on Instagram
Locke Street Shops are excited to announce Seven Saturdays – Pedestrian and On Street Dining on Locke Street! 🎉 Each Saturday from August 1 to September 12, we will open Locke Street to the community by closing the street to traffic between Hunter and Stanley, to allow for our community to visit Locke Street shops through the summer season and to enjoy food & drink from 9 am until 11 pm (while easily practising physical distancing, of course). Participating restaurants will welcome customers with on-street dining options, and at least a 4.5 meter lane will ensure a comfortable safe space for pedestrians and cyclists. The @lockestfarmersmarket will be open from 9am til noon. Free Parking will be available at Blessings Church, Melrose United Church and there’s paid parking options behind Starbucks. Get outside, take a walk, and support Locke Street businesses! #HamOnt #SpendItHere #supportlocal #shopsmall
On those special days, Hamilton foodies will get to enjoy the sunny outdoors while also enjoying Locke Street favourites like Brux House, Souvlocke Greek Taverna, CIMA Enoteca, Earth to Table: Bread Bar, Mattson & Co., and more from the comfort of a distanced outdoor patio setting.
Don’t forget your masks though: for anyone entering an enclosed space while visiting Locke Street, mask-wearing will be fully mandatory and enforced. The usual social distancing measures will also be in place, so locals are reminded to be mindful of keeping at least 6 feet of distance from others while visiting.
Parking will be available at a number of spots adjacent to the Locke Street strip, including some behind Starbucks, Goodness Me, and both Melrose United Church and Blessings Church.
This Locke Street outdoor dining district is being established just after Hamilton was enabled to move ahead to Stage Three of reopening the economy; a phase which includes the allowance of restaurants to reopen their dining rooms to guests.
However, many restaurants in Hamilton are holding off on opening their interiors just yet. On top of that, some locals are still understandably apprehensive about the idea of entering an indoor dining space for the time being, and are more apt to hit up an outdoor patio where the possibility of COVID-19 transmission drops considerably.
Lead image courtesy of @lockestshops