Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Transportation has approved a permit for Mystic Pizza to use a state highway right-of-way to add outdoor dining as the restaurant makes efforts to comply with the requirements of phase 1 of Connecticut’s reopening plans amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant, located at 56 West Main Street in Mystic, is the first business to be issued a permit of this kind from the state. It was approved to add tables in the front of the building near the doorways and on the sidewalk.
Phase 1 of the reopening plans began on May 20 and permits restaurants, which previously were required to limit their sales to take-out and delivery services only, to expand their operations to outdoor dining while also following a series of sector rules. To help businesses that do not have outdoor space available, Governor Lamont signed an executive order last week (Executive Order No. 7MM) that initiates the creation of an expedited process to allow restaurants, retailers, and other small businesses to use sidewalks or other areas that are in the state’s right-of-way.
“We want to do our best to partner with businesses to make any adjustments we can to help commercial operations resume while also maintaining the necessary health standards that will keep customers and employees protected,” Governor Lamont said. “This is going to require some creative modifications that we’ve never had to do before, but working together we can find solutions to many of these obstacles.”
“We all share the goal of reopening Connecticut safely and strategically,” Transportation Commissioner Joe Giulietti said. “With Governor Lamont’s leadership, the Connecticut Department of Transportation is ready, willing and able to partner with local businesses, municipalities, and the Federal Highway Administration to safely move our economy forward, while we continue to keep our sidewalks and roadways safe across Connecticut.”
The executive order also creates an expedited process for municipal governments to make similar adjustments on their end. The governor said that he is pleased to hear reports of several towns and cities that are taking advantage of the executive order and are working with area businesses to expand their outdoor operations.