Outdoor Dining and Pop Up Parks Become Popular in Denville

By: Megan Roche


For those in Denville and the surrounding towns who have missed going out to eat, the Downtown Denville BID has come to your rescue. Many areas surrounding Broadway have recently become pop up parks where takeout food can be enjoyed from many of the restaurants in the downtown shopping district.


According to Fitzpatrick, there are some stipulations in place when it comes to these pop up parks.


“The pop up tables are only for takeout. Our establishments cannot serve to these little pop up parks. It is up to the public to clean up after themselves. We certainly are cleaning things regularly, but we can’t do it every hour. We’re asking the public just to do their part,” Fitzpatrick said. 


Pop up parks are currently located in the A&R Interiors parking lot, McCarter Park, under the clocktower, and along First Avenue. Some restaurants, like Thatcher McGhees and The Pasta Shop, have also used some of their parking spots in front of their establishments for additional outdoor dining space. Many restaurants have also put outdoor dining tables on their sidewalks in front of their establishments as well. 


“There is a plethora of outdoor areas where you can eat out. There are a lot of different options of where you can go if you order out. We have a pretty robust outside area for people to enjoy a meal out,” Fitzpatrick said. 


Downtown Denville is also working on planning another installment of Denville After Dark. The first event, held in late June, closed down Broadway so residents could visit the area, shop, and dine, with picnic and bar top tables scattered around Broadway. Masks must be worn during the event and social distancing must be practiced, but Fitzpatrick says the first event was a great success.


“You couldn’t get a seat in any restaurant or at any of our tables. It was a great, positive night downtown. We are relying on the public and the stores to abide by the social distancing protocols, and it’s a balancing act for sure. As long as everyone abides by those rules of the executive order, we can continue to have nights like this. We’re currently working on planning more of these types of nights with the administration and the police,” Fitzpatrick said. 


Indoor dining was slated to reopen on July 2, but Governor Murphy put a stop to that as coronavirus cases have been on the rise. Downtown Denville is anxiously awaiting any news as to when things can begin to open again. 


More information on Downtown Denville can be found at www.downtowndenville.com or Downtown Denville on Facebook. 

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