Kirkwood Avenue to stay open during outdoor dining season

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — Kirkwood Avenue will stay open during this year’s outdoor dining season, the City of Bloomington announced Thursday.

Launched during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the city has closed off sections of Kirkwood for outdoor dining, but with the ongoing Hidden River Pathway Project, the road will need to remain open as a traffic detour, as crews will soon close off portions of Indiana Avenue for construction.

Example of a dining “parklet” (Photo courtesy: The City of Bloomington)

Instead, the city announced they will expand outdoor dining in “parklets”—or parking spaces that are closed off by orange barriers directly outside restaurants. Currently there are several dining parklets in and around downtown, including several on Indiana Avenue and around the courthouse square.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to continue the new summertime tradition of outdoor dining on Kirkwood, while also completing an important stormwater project to protect our downtown during extreme weather,” said Bloomington Mayor Kerry Thomson. “I look forward to enjoying Bloomington’s outstanding cuisine and relaxing with friends and neighbors on Kirkwood.”

The 2024 outdoor dining season will run from April 29 through November 4. Businesses have until April 15 to apply to participate in this year’s parklet program.