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Massive Increase in Sidewalk Cafes Downtown – Number of Seats Up 70% from Last Year

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

As a huge fan of outdoor seating the following makes me very happy – from the Downtown BID:

The DowntownDC BID’s 2012 Inventory of Sidewalk Cafes shows there are now 147—more than an 8% increase compared to 2011. Although our reporting methodology changed this year—we were able to capture exact seat numbers as opposed to approximate capacities—the nearly 4,400 seats tallied represent about a 70% increase in available seats from the previous year.

According to this year’s survey, the fourth since 2009, the number of small, “intimate” cafes (with 1-20 seats) and mid-size ones (with 21-40 seats) have mushroomed, climbing about 59% and 105%, respectively, since 2009. Both make up about 77% of the available cafes within the DowntownDC BID area, which encompasses 138 blocks.

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