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Sidewalk Seating for Restaurants Makes D.C. Harder to Navigate for People With Disabilities

Plus, Northern Virginia has a new option for Persian ice cream

Washington, DC Allows Most Businesses To Operate At Full Capacity
Expanded outdoor seating for restaurants shrinks available sidewalk space for people who use wheelchairs.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Permits allowing D.C. restaurants to build improvised patios on sidewalks and streets have provided a crucial boost throughout the novel coronavirus crisis, but the boom in “streateries” has created more obstacles for people who have impaired vision or require wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers to move through the city. A report from the Washington Post provides several examples of people with disabilities encountering problems navigating congested sidewalks and getting to their tables in areas like the nightlife nexus of U Street NW and lower 14th Street NW, where around 30 businesses have expanded their outdoor seating. As of January, the city had issued 304 public space permits for “streateries.” Legislation proposed by Mayor Muriel Bowser that would create public drinking districts includes a provision that would keep the expanded patios going from May through October. [WaPo]

In other news ...

  • Northern Virginia Magazine reports that Maria Oveysi, a member of the family behind well-regarded Persian restaurant Amoo’s in McLean, has a new business selling pints of saffron-tinged ice cream. [NVM]
  • D.C. already has an Unconventional Diner, and now an (apparently unrelated) business has filed building permits in Clarendon for an “Uncommon Luncheonette.” It’s only a matter of time before Maryland gets an Atypical Brunchery. [ARLnow]
  • DCist dives into the San Antonio roots of chef Naomi Gallego’s new Tex-Mex operation running out of the Social Beast complex in Glover Park. [DCist]
  • Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema cops to “takeout fatigue” and writes about what it’s like to have his home cooking critiqued. [WaPo]

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