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Monday, July 19, 2021

Newport launches new outdoor café seating program

With a boost from a $37,500 grant from The Devou Good Foundation, the City of Newport and the Newport Foundation are launching an elevated outdoor dining Café Seating program that is being offered to local businesses in retail areas of the city.

14 N. Grand Ave. 

Café Seating will allow outdoor dining and drinking through tables, chairs, planters and umbrellas that will be uniform in size and placed on the sidewalks in front of businesses.

“We are improving and elevating the outdoor dining and drinking experience by utilizing public spaces and city sidewalks to offer Café Seating,” said Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli, Jr. “We actually have had outdoor dining in the city since 2001, but Café Seating takes the program to the next level and provides an enjoyable dining experience.”

The Devou Good Foundation partners with local nonprofits – such as the Newport Foundation – to assess the unique needs of communities within Greater Cincinnati to facilitate projects that target identified needs. The Foundation’s vision for the program includes putting people into public spaces to create a vibrancy that ultimately increases safety and rethinking public right-of-ways for activity, health, and economic development.

Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said no fees will be charged for the tables, chairs, planters or umbrellas, which will be stored over the winter and maintained by the city. Café Seating could be available later this year and will certainly be available in 2022.

“We are thrilled to partner with cities on both sides of the river who see the economic and societal benefits vgof transforming our public spaces into welcoming places,” said Devou Good Foundation President Matt Butler.

David Willocks, owner of the popular The Baker’s Table restaurant on Monmouth, said he is “excited about anything that elevates Monmouth Street.”

“We are 100 percent committed to Newport,” Willocks said. “We live here, we are invested here, we are about ready to open our second business in the city, and this is just tremendous news. Outdoor dining has presented itself as a very important aspect of the restaurant business, and we appreciate what the city is doing, including helping out by providing storage over the winter.”

The grant will be administered by ReNewport, a community development nonprofit that works closely with the city on projects and initiatives that improve the lives of Newport residents.

The grant includes:

• $30,000 for the Café Dining furnishings, including planters, tables, chairs and umbrellas.

• $5,000 for a launch event that will feature have a festival-like atmosphere.

• $2,500 for branding and marketing.

“This is an excellent program and a great way to bring more people to Monmouth Street and into the city,” said Sandy Schweitzer, owner of Sis’s on Monmouth restaurant. “Our customers love outdoor dining, and we appreciate the development of the Cafe Seating program.”

Businesses that serve food for drink may apply for the Café Seating program at The Newport City Building at 998 Monmouth St. Forms may also be downloaded from the city’s website at

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