Philadelphia’s Outdoor Seating Trend Continues To Grow, Report Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More establishments than ever are offering outdoor seating in Center City.

For the past 15 years, the Center City District has measured outdoor dining establishments. President Paul Levy says this year, not only was there another increase in places that offer outdoor dining, but there was a rise in the number of non-food establishments, as well.

“This year we started to count sort of outdoor chairs and seating locations that are not associated with food, and that clearly seems to be a growing trend,” Levy noted.

Levy says 372 places offered outdoor seating this summer compared to 61 in 2001, a 438% increase that he says is a show of the vitality and success of the city.

“For those with long memories, when people were afraid to be in Center City or thought Center City was not a good place, to today when people are sitting out on the sidewalks everywhere, enjoying public parks and plazas,” he said.

Levy says outdoor dining not only makes a neighborhood more attractive, it makes it safer, too.

“More eyes on the streets,” he said. “Simply having people sitting outside creates a more friendly and welcoming environment.”

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