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Neighbors of Kane County

Outdoor Dining Expands Downtown Aurora Eating Options

Outdoor dining will be returning to downtown Aurora with new options for diners. As the weather warms, Aurora Downtown, along with city staff and downtown restaurants, are working to build on the success of last year’s outdoor dining.

To that end, Aurora Downtown’s Streetscape committee recently held a giveaway for an outdoor dining booth that downtown restaurants located within the Special Service Area could win. The committee hired Brad Hazelton from Hazelton Carpentry to build the custom, four-season outdoor dining booth as a model for downtown dining. 

“We saw the huge benefit of outdoor dining for restaurants last year. It’s been great to work with city staff and downtown restaurants to grow outdoor dining options,” said Marissa Amoni, manager of Aurora Downtown.

Aurora Downtown worked with Hazelton to create the outdoor booth as an option for restaurants to purchase. Amoni said that the outdoor booth has many benefits including a continued revenue stream should restaurants have to pause indoor dining again. 

Cupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen, located at 31 N. Broadway, won the booth giveaway at the end of March, and Hazelton installed the cedar booth at the rear of the restaurant.

Other outdoor dining options include a beer garden on Pinney Street proposed by Gillerson’s Grubbery, a parklet on Downer Place proposed by Tredwell Coffee and funded in part by an Aurora Downtown small business grant, and outdoor sidewalk dining at multiple restaurants.

“We’re very thankful to city staff who worked quickly to create an outdoor dining application process for restaurants that have been doing a great job to create welcoming spaces,” Amoni said. 

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Photos: Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen, 31 N. Broadway, owners Maria and Peter Skokan recently won an outdoor dining booth from Aurora Downtown. The restaurant is currently celebrating a soft opening and offers carry-out and outdoor dining.