SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The City of San Jose is shutting down San Pedro Street to make more room for outdoor dining in the once-busy downtown area.
City crews hauled in concrete barriers to block off traffic on San Pedro Street from Santa Clara to St. John.
The street closures are semi-permanent, expected to last at least through September of this year as businesses try and coax customers back to the popular restaurants.
"We have many restaurants on this street that will be able to bring tables out to the street and be able to serve the customers that have been anxious to get to some of their favorite culinary treats for some time," said Autumn Young, San Jose Downtown Association.
Restaurants wasted little time taking advantage of the additional seating capacity.
O'Flaherty's Irish Pub workers were busy rolling out additional barrels into San Pedro Street for outdoor seating early Wednesday morning.
"It helps with moral with the businesses, it gives us something to see a brighter future with opportunities like this," said David Mulvehill, President of the bar and restaurant group that owns O'Flaherty's and several other businesses in downtown San Jose.
"It gives staff hope too that there's something to come back to. That their job's are still here," Mulvehill said.
City workers are also installing trees donated from nearby City View Plaza to welcome customers and to hopefully breathe life again into San Jose's downtown.
"Come down and enjoy your favorite sushi, steak, Italian - It's going to be a great opportunity to gather and see people in 3D again," Young said.
The Friday's Farmers market will also make the move San Pedro street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the new traffic closures in place.
The City is also looking into closing streets in other districts of downtown like the SoFA and Little Italy areas to allow more businesses to take advantage of the additional seating capacity.
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