Beverley is about to see an interesting change to its markets come April. The pedestrianisation of an area of the Saturday market will allow for European-style Al Fresco dining. Tourists that flock to the historical market town will be able to sit amongst the square and take in the atmosphere on market days with Beverley market outdoor seating. They can sit with a glass of vino in hand while the sun is shining down. It’ll be kind of like sitting outside a rustic French bistro in ol’ Pari! Kind of…
There is talk about having an outdoor seating area between The Grapes and the King’s Head pub, which will allow for further social distancing and a rather modern offering for the traditional market town.
This new type of Al Fresco dining begs the question, is this the way forward for Market Towns? Do we make way for outdoor dining like Beverley market outdoor seating? Swap out the market stalls for tables, chairs and create extra outdoor space for pubs and restaurants where people can sit and dine out in the open, taking in the world around them? How continental!
Imagine the sense of community it might instil, creating a Christmas feel all year round with street food vendors serving up delicious goods. People laughing – enjoying a coffee, beer or wine with friends when they only popped out for some milk.
Obviously Beverley is already one of Yorkshire’s most popular market towns – but if other towns followed suit, would it give families more reason to visit those forgotten market towns across Yorkshire that are now in desperate need of an economy boost?
About the new 18 month trial with Beverley market outdoor seating, councillor Victoria Aitken said: “After an overwhelming endorsement from businesses and local stakeholders last year, we are excited at the potential that this proposal can offer to Beverley town centre, especially in light of the pandemic’s effects on the local economy in the past year.”
Do town markets need updating and is al fresco dining the answer to keeping up with consumer needs?