Get Ready For Sydney’s Laneways, Streets and Car Parks To Turn Into Al Fresco Dining Areas

Following in Melbourne’s footsteps, Sydney has made plans to turn itself into a ’24-hour city’, with a huge al fresco dining scheme.

It might seem a little hard to believe, seeing as residents never really had time to enjoy the removal of lockout laws before COVID-19 forced the city into lockdown. However the community recovery plan by The City of Sydney and NSW Government is aiming to turn Sydney‘s CBD (and other local precincts) back into the vibrant places they once were.

“We need to allow and encourage businesses to operate outdoors, and we need to support our creative and cultural life to activate and draw people back to our city, safely,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said in a statement.

“We will set up outdoor performance stages in key city locations, fund live music and performance in venues, bars and restaurants, and deliver a summer of outdoor dining”.


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To be honest, it sounds pretty cool.

The scheme kicked off last week on October 16, with The Rocks becoming the first space to transform into an al fresco dining paradise. So far 19 of the pubs, restaurants and cafes in the area have expanded outdoor dining — including TayimThe Doss HouseMaybe SammyEndeavour Tap Rooms and the Orient Hotel.

The overall licensed area means that an additional 1000 patrons can be served at once, under the current outdoor dining guidelines. Plus it’s bloody cute, if you ask me.


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Heck, they’ve even introduced an outdoor music lineup running every Thursday to Sunday from 11am to 9pm, across a number of the participating al fresco laneways.

While this is good news for anyone like me who thoroughly enjoys a cheeky bevvie or two in the Summer sun, it’s even better news for local business affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

“The pandemic forced the CBD into a Covid hibernation and it’s vital we revive our use of the city for work and pleasure, to keep people in jobs and businesses in business,”Treasurer Dominic Perrottett said in a statement.


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“This summer will be a testing time for many businesses but this funding will help breathe life back into the city and get our economy moving again”.

If there was ever a better excuse to meet a friend at the bar this weekend, I haven’t heard it.

(Lead Image: Instagram / @therocks)