"The Central Ohio Restaurant Association doesn’t know how many restaurants offer alfresco dining, but Executive Director Gail Baker said outdoor meals are increasingly popular.
Indoor-smoking bans are one reason for more open-air dining areas, where smoking is allowed in some cases.
"Another reason is that people really do enjoy outdoor dining," Baker said. "Plus, . . . (restaurants) can add to the seating space in good weather, so that makes it popular to the restaurant owner, who can increase sales."
…Outdoor dining is important for Downtown as well as the city’s neighborhoods, he said.
"It plays a very important part in the perceived and the actual experience of living in an urban environment."
Craige Roberts, dining recently on Alana’s porch, touched on key essences of the alfresco dining experience.
"Fresh air provides a different kind of light. There’s the liveliness of the people.
"Fresh air is vastly underrated."
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