FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Create it and they will come. That’s the idea behind Fort Wayne’s newest public space.
For most people in Fort Wayne, the PNC Plaza is home to ‘Santa and His Reindeer.’ Now the Plaza is home to a new outdoor public space.
“Coney Island is going to benefit, we obviously are really going to benefit but even people who are down at Promenade Park and the Landing who work their way up here they now have a place to sit and relax,” Sweets on Main co-owner Krista Schwartz Hall said. “We are surprised already by how much it is being utilized in the morning for breakfast meetings and people are still out there when we close at 10 p.m. on weekend just hanging out.”
Additions to the Plaza include outdoor dining tables and chairs, a life-size chessboard, and a mural by Art This Way.
The push for additional outdoor seating continues well into the COVID-19 pandemic where more restaurants have added outdoor dining as a way to attract guests.
Sweets on Main was one of the several businesses hurt during the COVID-19 pandemic. The business open fall of 2019 and saw success. Then the pandemic hit. Thanks to loyal customers the ice cream shop stayed open.
Schwartz Hall says she is excited that the new plaza will bring more people to downtown.
“I think it’s just making downtown a fun place to be,” Schwartz Hall said. “I know that when I try to go out to eat especially since there are only a few months in the summer you can eat outside I look for a place to go outside.”
Other restaurants and businesses in the area that Wane spoke with say the additional public space and seating have helped businesses and Fort Wayne residents are hoping more spaces open soon.