Heat in the Street brings a touch of Europe
Posted on 11/23/2020
A rendering of the vendor stand and how the pods and stands will be positioned in Town Square.This winter, the streets of downtown Northville will look similar to the winter markets in Europe. As the snow falls and the temperature drops, several Downtown Northville restaurant and café owners will be serving customers from contemporary vendor stands in Town Square. Patrons will be able to enjoy specialty food and drinks at open-air pods that allow fresh air to circulate yet have radiant heat to keep them warm and cozy. It gives a whole new meaning to the idea of dining out.

The new outdoor structures are part of “Heat in the Street,” a concept developed by Northville DDA and Manfred Schon, a native of Germany and co-owner of Up2Go. Live music and other activities will be scheduled that allow for social distancing.

“We are so thankful to be collaborating with Up2Go and numerous community sponsors on bringing Heat in the Street to Downtown Northville,” said Lori Ward, director of the Northville Downtown Development Authority.

Heat in the Street is a new element of the Social District, which encompasses N. Center from Main to Dunlap and E. Main from Center to Hutton, including sidewalks, roadways, Town Square and Old Church Square. The roads were closed to traffic in the summer so restaurants and retailers could expand outdoors and people would have ample space to walk or eat and drink at outdoor tables. The streets will remain closed to traffic through March 1.

Two (each) pods and stands are being built and should arrive in Northville by Nov. 30, with more to follow in early December. The structures will become the property of the DDA to be used at future events and will be stored off-season.

In a grassroots effort, Schon and other business owners are contributing funds to the Heat in the Street program in the form of sponsorships to purchase additional pods and vendor stands. To date, $112,500 has been raised, including a commitment of $30,000 from the DDA. The total cost of the project is approximately $300,000. The DDA will collect the funds for sponsorships, apply for grants, and pay invoices relating to the project.

By being able to serve patrons in outdoor areas, restaurants will be able to stay open even with indoor closures. The restaurants and bars licensed to participate in the sale of alcohol in the Social District are Center Street Grille, Table 5, Lucy & the Wolf, Browndog, Simply Wine, 160 Main, Poole’s Tavern and Los Tres Amigos. The Social District rules permit people to purchase an alcoholic drink from a participating restaurant and consume it at the restaurant where it is purchased or in the commons area.

“The DDA remains committed to supporting our businesses and the community. This new experience will provide an opportunity for all of the downtown businesses to continue welcoming guests safely and with the maximum capacity allowed under State COVID-19 guidelines,” said Ward.

Downtown retail shops continue to display merchandise in front of their storefront to provide an open-air shopping experience. Some retailers also offer online shopping and curbside pickup.

For the protection of yourself and others in the Social District, please wear a mask when you are not seated at a table or bar, and whenever you can if you are not eating or drinking. If you are sick or have a fever, do not meet up with others at the Social District.