SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The open streets program is coming back to downtown Salt Lake City this Memorial Day weekend through the summer by allowing restaurants to expand their patio service and have more dining opportunities.

The Main Street corridor from 100 South to 400 South will be blocked off Thursdays through Saturdays from noon to close.

Restaurants owners tell ABC4 they are stoked to be able to serve more customers and bring in some more bucks.

Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Director for The Bourbon Group Matt Crandall says business was tough for several months.

“It’s been a tough year man,” says Randall.

He adds when things started to get back to normal, it felt like night and day.

“It’s almost like starting a brand new business from scratch,” says Randall. “We are ready to get back to where we were.”

Whiskey Bar and White Horse, owned by The Bourbon Group, are currently among the three restaurants planning to participate in the open streets program.

“This year, they are extending it the whole summer, so it goes into the fall and it’s really going to be beneficial for us as business to be able to recoup some of our losses over the last year,” says Randall.

Randall says there have been struggles not just financially, but also with employees and customer safety.

However, as like most places of businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, they worked through the growing pains and are serving up their good eats and spirits once again.

Over the last year, it’s been no secret that bars and restaurants have been plagued by the pandemic, but this new program will bring the bucks back to the bar.

Downtown Alliance, who organized the idea, sent ABC 4 this statement:

“We are excited to welcome people downtown for safe shopping, dining, buskers, and pop-up performances. This is not a street festival or a block party, but rather an expansion of Main Street pedestrian options to allow residents and visitors the space to enjoy the energy of downtown.

“You come into Whiskey Street and feel like you are in a big city,” says Randall. “It doesn’t remind you that you are in Salt Lake, I can tell you that much.”

Randall says all of The Bourbon Group restaurants continue to follow CDC guidelines and are excited for the open streets program to be back in about a month.

The goal of this, if all goes well, is to keep the open streets program running for years to come.

If any restaurants or businesses are interested in being a part of this, contact the Downtown Alliance.