LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three restaurants on Whiskey Row in downtown Louisville were granted permission to set up outdoor dining options for customers along Main Street.

The parking lane in front of Bearno’s, Doc Crow's and Patrick O’Shea’s has been blocked off with barricades to allow a safe space for eight picnic tables. It might be late in the season, but Bearno’s co-owner George Timmering said he’s thrilled to provide the extra option for his customers.

Restaurants across Kentuckiana have set up tables in parking lots, traffic lanes and anywhere else possible to add outdoor seating options during the coronavirus pandemic. However, it hasn’t been so easy for those along Whiskey Row, Timmering said.

“With a lot of the activity and protests this summer, downtown really wasn’t able to take advantage of outdoor seating,” he said.

However, over the last few weeks, owners have been working with their landlords and local associations in order to finally expand outdoors. Timmering said it took a while to get the final permission, because they had to not only coordinate with Metro Government but also the state, because Main Street is a state road.

Then, over the weekend, several picnic tables were placed out front for the restaurants to share. There is the possibility of adding more tables along the sidewalk in the future without blocking the path for pedestrians.

“Even though there’s not a lot of warm weather left, we want to take advantage of every bit," Timmering said. "Let’s take another first step toward bringing back downtown and showing more activity."

Even though it took a while, Timmering said it’s a good test run for next year and the other ideas they have to encourage people to enjoy downtown.

“The goal would be down the road, because this is just the beginning," he said. "We would love to open up Washington Street and Main Street, open those blocks for activities, block parties and events around the city."

Timmering said the owners are brainstorming what to do once it gets colder, like possibly setting up a tent or portable outdoor heaters.

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