Sidewalk cafes add people and energy to Bay City's streets

In Michigan, enjoying the outdoors usually means a trip to the lake or woods. If you’re in Bay City this summer, though, you can spend time outdoors while sitting under a sunny, blue sky and savoring a meal or cocktail.

In June, the city agreed to temporarily close several streets to allow restaurants to serve outside. For years, restaurants on both sides of the river have set up sidewalk cafes for patrons. This year, though, those sidewalk cafes grew in number and size.

The city closed streets near restaurants in Downtown Bay City. Eateries and bars put out tables, umbrellas, potted plants, and other decorations to take advantage of the additional space. The tables keep guests spaced 6 feet apart, which meets CDC and state guidelines for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

If the move closed your usual parking spot, you still have options. The Downtown Bay City Management Board posted a map showing free parking spots throughout downtown. Click here for the map.

In the Midland Street area, the streets remain open to traffic, but the outdoor seating areas still dot the sidewalks.