Restaurant tents, gazebos to become permanent in Edmonds streets

VIDEO: North Sound city to allow street tents to stay year round

EDMONDS, Wash. — As restaurants prepare to reopen for indoor dining, the City of Edmonds is allowing businesses to permanently use tents and gazebos in parking spots and city streets.

In the process, Joel Beauchamp is dealing with a spike in sales.

As the owner of a local construction business, Beauchamp has been building street side gazebos for restaurants, with likely many more to come.

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“We started (building a gazebo) on a Monday afternoon and we had three days to build it. (The restaurant owner) wanted it open by Friday — and we’re just about there,” he told KIRO 7.

When the pandemic hit, restaurants in Edmonds were temporarily allowed to introduce tents and gazebos in city streets, as well as in city parking spaces.

But then something remarkable happened.

Even in the dead of winter, customers like Jessica West showed up in droves.

“Seeing all these outdoor sections, seeing the creative ways the restaurant community has come together, it’s been cool seeing the different meal spaces,” she noted.

Faced with so many customers, the city of Edmonds is now allowing restaurant street tents and gazebos to become permanent.

“(Restaurants) are so vibrant, and so much a part of the community fabric, that it’s important for the whole community to have them stay,” said Shane Hope, Development Services Director of the City of Edmonds.

So far, a dozen restaurants in town have constructed outdoor seating areas.

Under new plans from the city, however, eight more permits are now available for construction, meaning Beauchamp is just getting started.

“It’s great,” he said with a smile. “I love this in the community, and you can come out and eat in the street. It brings everyone closer together.”

If the popularity of outdoor dining continues, there’s a chance that 20 different restaurants in Edmonds will have permanent outdoor seating by this summer.