Portable outdoor dining booths are coming to a street near you.
As part of the Future City CBD revamp, and in a regional-NSW-first, Orange City Council has unveiled plans to put booths with up to 10 seats on kerbsides for dining and entertainment.
Construction began on Wednesday afternoon for the first booth in Lords Place which takes up two parking spaces outside the Crema on Lords coffee shop.
The use of alfresco booths has become popular in cities across the world.Cr Tony Mileto
It will be unpowered but two planned for McNamara Street, in an off-street mini-park next to the Blind Pig Sound Lounge and Bar, will have power and be available for anyone to use.
Crema on Lords owner Arthur Aube said similar booths were available in tourist areas of Sydney.
"You see them all around there in Bondi Beach and at the Rocks," he said. "I've been talking with the council staff and they asked me what I thought they would beautify the area.
"It's a fantastic thing for the city and I think we'll be the first city in the Central West with them and then everyone will follow."
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said businesses could hire a booth. "Any business in Orange can express interest in having one of these booths near their shop to encourage people to visit, take a seat or window shop while they charge a phone, or have a coffee," he said.
"They're portable in the sense they can be moved from place to place using a tilt-tray truck. Businesses could hire them out for periods of time." The booths are raised so water can travel underneath and have crash barriers to protect people from passing cars.
Orange City Council Employment and Economic Development Policy Committee chair Tony Mileto said they cost $20,000-$30,000 each.
"Council has bought three of these transportable, dining booths as a trial, with the option to buy more should businesses be interested."
"They have the potential to increase the number of diners for restaurants and cafes," Cr Mileto said.
"Placing powered booths around areas with not as much passing foot traffic, such as McNamara Street, encourages people to make their way into that area.
"The use of alfresco booths has become popular in cities across the world and adds a further dimension in the engagement of shoppers and general pedestrian traffic.
"They help create a vibrant, busy atmosphere."
He said it was the first time the booths had been used in regional NSW.
"Council is trying to think outside the box," he said.
"It is a trial. We will look for feedback from the community."
The booths are the latest feature of the Future City program.
Works are currently under way in McNamara Street and on Lords Place between Summer and Byng streets.
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