By Bob Uphues
Brookfield took a swing at expanded al fresco dining in its downtown last weekend, and it received a warm welcome from restaurants and bars in the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard, almost all of whom participated in the program.
Public works crews barricaded the street at the Grand/Prairie/Fairview/Brookfield intersection and mid-block to provide a safe area for diners, who sat at tables set up on either side of Grand Boulevard in front of establishments.
The village left a 12-foot walkway down the center of the street to provide easy pedestrian access without having to crowd sidewalks and strung lights between light poles on either side of the street to provide a little nighttime atmosphere.
While some establishments, like Sebastian's Whiskey and Ale House had purchased their own tables and chairs, the village helped out those without the ability to purchase or store tables by providing picnic tables from village parks.
The village plans to close off the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard to accommodate additional outdoor dining each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through at least Labor Day.