People driving around town probably noticed the community's major North/South street was closed in both directions from Michigan Avenue Friday.
Ann Arbor Street was closed by the City of Saline and turned into an outdoor plaza for shoppers and diners around 11 a.m.
Activity didn't pick up until about 4:30 p.m. and was busiest outside Brecon Grille and Mac's Acadian Seafood Shack. South Ann Arbor Street was closed between Henry Street and Michigan Avenue.
Brecon Grille, in particular, was eager to take advantage of the extra space with people still concerned about COVID-19 and social distancing. Owner Paul Geragosian more than doubles his reduced capacity by taking advantage of outdoor seating.
"Outdoor seating is key. I think Saline following the lead of other communities doing it is a great idea," Geragosian said.
He'd love to see the program expanded to include Thursday nights if Saline Main Street decides it can have a few Summer Music Series events.
Mac's Acadian Seafood Shack also had a couple of tables in the street.
Earlier in the day, Carrigan's Cafe had a couple of tables in front of her restaurant. The Friday lunch crowd was quiet and the closed road probably didn't help business. But she's hoping the closed road will be a factor Saturday when the Farmers Market takes place in the parking lot across the street.
Carrigan invited people to enjoy the bustling atmosphere Saturday morning. She said kids will be invited to use chalk to create art on the road.
According to the Farmers Market, the following vendors are expected Saturday.
- Srodeks- traditional Polish food
- Black Diesel Coffee- locally roasted coffee beans in assorted styles and sizes
- Prochaska- fresh greens, asparagus, hanging baskets, garden plants, flower baskets
- Four Corners Creamery- OFF 6/27
- Cheer Up Farms- glass bottles, preservative free maple syrup
- Marks Farm and Greenhouse- Beefalo, local produce, spring mix, asparagus, rhubarb, zucchini, herbs hanging baskets, flower pots, starter plants and more
- Kapnick Orchards- asparagus, rhubarb, strawberries, assorted baked goods including breads, donuts, cookies and more
- Ms. Kim’s- assorted jams, pickles, pie filling, produce, baked goods and more
- Nemeth- flower baskets, local produce, donuts, apples
- Pick Michigan- local produce, homemade tortillas, chicken eggs and duck eggs
- D&C Wielfaert- assorted annuals flats, hanging baskets and more
- Nirits Gluten Free Bakery- assorted gluten free baked good, and other allergy friendly baked items
- Ostrowski Farm- starter plants and seasonal veggies
- Delice Patisserie- French baked goods and croissants
Merchants and restaurants on the north side of the road did not use the space in the afternoon or evening Friday. Two business owners said the closed road likely hurt curbside pick-up business. The road was closed between Michigan Avenue and the parking lot entrance beside The Cheese Shop of Saline.