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Painted picnic tables promote outdoor dining

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DUNWOODY, GA. — The City of Dunwoody Economic Development Department is taking a colorful approach to encourage local restaurants to add or expand outdoor dining.

Painted picnic tables

This picnic table was painted by the Dunwoody Fine Art Association for Vino Venue.

The Painted Picnic Table Project is designed to make it easier for restaurants to meet social distancing requirements designed to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

“We see this as a creative way to engage the community and support local businesses,” Dunwoody Economic Development Director Michael Starling said. “We hope the painted picnic tables will help more restaurants and customers embrace outdoor dining.”

Vino Venue, Crema Espresso Gourmet, the Shops of Dunwoody, Perimeter Mall and NFA Burger have already signed on.

The Dunwoody Fine Arts Association, CREATE Dunwoody, the Dunwoody High School National Art Honor Society and local artists representing the Spruill Center for the Arts and the Dunwoody Preservation Trust have volunteered to paint tables. A special permit is required before restaurants can join the Painted Picnic Table Project.

In May, the Dunwoody City Council passed a resolution creating a temporary outdoor restaurant permit, which allows restaurants to set up tables for customers in common areas and even parking spaces, in coordination with property owners. Seating must align with state executive orders, which currently require tables be spaced at least 6 feet apart. The permit is free.

“This is a great way to showcase our community organizations by bringing color and art to outdoor dining,” Rosemary Watts, Dunwoody’s business retention manager, said. “We’ve been encouraged by the enthusiasm of restaurants and community organizations and look forward to bringing more on board.”

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