Several Initiatives Are Set To See The CBD’s Streets Primed For Outdoor Dining Over Summer

By Rick Stephens
27th Sep 2021

In a bid to bring back Melbourne’s hospitality scene sooner rather than later, the City of Melbourne has announced a new initiative that could see CBD restaurants, diners and cafes open as early as late October.

The initiative has been labelled Inside Out, where the city will do exactly that. It’s proposed that several laneways in the CBD will close to cars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to allow for increased capacity for outdoor dining. 

Lord Mayor Sally Capp is leading the way with Inside Out, and looking for more ways to rejuvenate Melbourne as quickly as possible while staying in line with Government health advice. Several options are being looked at, such as increasing retail trading hours to align with the extended hospitality trading, as well as employing buskers to entertain diners.

“Our small businesses have been the hardest hit in the whole of Australia. We are determined to make trading easier for them while we navigate this unique set of circumstances,” the Lord Mayor said. 

The hugely popular Melbourne Money, which saw diners have up to $100 of their bill reimbursed by the City of Melbourne, is also on the cards for a return with the City of Melbourne in talks with the State Government to bring back another round of the initiative.

“We’re breathing new life into vacant shopfronts, continuing our popular Flash Forward laneway creative art program, and we’re also working with the State Government to bring back the highly successful Melbourne Money dining scheme."

At this point, the Inside Out initiative is scheduled to commence late October, with more information expected in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, keep up with Melbourne’s current restrictions here.

Image credit: Jake Roden | Visit Vic

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