LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — Judith King is mopping up around her consignment shop Fashion Exchange Inc. She said Lake Worth Beach's decision to allow alfresco dining to help restaurants through the pandemic has become a nightmare for her small business.
"I've had many clients that wouldn't shop here because it was full of cars, and they tried the parking lots, and they were full," she said.
Currently, downtown Lake Worth Beach has 667 parking spaces. When the city decided to allow alfresco dining, 20-25 spaces were taken.
"I think it's served its purpose," King said. "I'm glad it helped everybody. I think it's wonderful, but now I think it's time to wrap it up and continue the way we were before COVID."
The folks at Dave's Last Resort and Raw Bar said outdoor dining really helped get them through the past year.
"We wanted to do it for the customers," manager Cathy Broz said. "So a lot of customers weren't happy sitting inside, so we wanted to give them the opportunity to sit outside."
Broz said an issue with the outdoor seating should be taken up with the city.
"I'm not sure why they're complaining because we're going by what the city allowed us to do," she said.
According to Commissioner Herman Robinson, alfresco seating will continue through the week of the Fourth of July.
"The consensus was it demonstrated energy on the street, that we're alive, well and kicking, and enjoy being out," he said.
That's great for many eateries, but not for King.
"I think the Fourth of July weekend, that should be the end of it," she said. "I think things should go back to normal."