Municipalities are working through through the Governor's Executive Orders allowing outdoor dining. For some that had previously been indoor-seating only, this has been a challenge as they try to get their doors back open. New Milford Mayor Pete Bass signed an Executive Emergency Order today that will hopefully eliminate some roadblocks. The order goes hand in hand with Governor Lamont's executive order regarding restaurants.

Mayor Bass announced in a Facebook post today that he is working with Town officials to "allow for flexibility on maximizing the outdoor dining opportunities for our restaurants."

Governor Lamont's Phase 1 reopening orders allow for outdoor dining, with many details regarding table spacing, santization, occupancy, staff safety and shared equipment. Those can be found here.

However, for some restaurants, outdoor dining was not previously an option. Some are not currently zoned for outdoor dining and some never had the physical space set up. Bass' order should help with some of those concerns. The order was drawn up with input from many Town departments including Economic Development, Law Enforcement, Zoning, and Health.

As a New Milford resident, I'm very happy to see the town working with the area's restaurants to hopefully get things rolling. In the meantime I've been happy to support some of my favorites with takeout from Italia Mia, the Cookhouse, the Abbey, Brickhouse Pizza, Bravo New York and a couple I'm sure I've forgotten. And of course I have plenty of Housatonic River Brewing beer to wash the yummies down with. I hope that they and the other restaurants in town have a nice smooth transition with the reopening, which starts May 20. I'm sure there will be bumps along the way so patience is encouraged, but a unified show of support from the town is definitely a step in the right direction.

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