Lisbon’s Economic and Community Development director, Brett Richardson, left, and Parks and Recreaton Director  Mark Stevens, right, meet with Main Street business owners Wednesday afternoon in the area where picnic tables will be set up for outdoor dining from early July through Labor Day. From left are Richardson, Frank’s Place co-owner Traci Austin, Flux Restaurant owners Tyson and Jason LaVerdiere and Stevens. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

LISBON — A small section of Main Street will be closed to vehicles from the beginning of July through Labor Day for outdoor dining and community gatherings, according to Brett Richardson, Lisbon’s Economic and Community Development director.

Richardson said the plan, which was developed with the help of Lisbon’s businesses, town staff and community organizations, the Maine Department of Transportation, and the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, will go into effect “on or around July 2.”

Main Street will be closed from the intersection at Route 196 to a small access road just before the Lisbon Post Office building.

Richardson said travelers will be rerouted around the closure via a short detour on School Street, which will allow the public to “visit all Main Street businesses, deliveries of supplies and materials will continue unchanged, and impacts to downtown parking will be minimal.”

The closure area, which has been dubbed Moxie Plaza by Lisbon Development Committee Chairwoman Lisa Ward, will encompass “roughly 4,000 square feet at Main Street and Route 196, Richardson said.

Town Manager Diane Barnes described Lisbon’s restaurants as “an essential part of the Main Street business community.”

Frank’s Restaurant and Pub in Lisbon Falls welcomes a line of visitors during the Moxie Festival in 2017. Darcie Moore/The Times Record file photo

“Closing Main Street for the summer to enable social distancing will help Main Street businesses adapt and survive during the current COVID-19 reality,” Barnes added.

Traci Austin, co-owner of Frank’s Restaurant and Pub at 2 Main St., said she and the staff at Frank’s were “very appreciative of the plan for outdoor dining” and “look forward to navigating the new opportunity.”

Richardson said the pedestrian space on Main Street will offer “opportunities for daytime ‘pop-up markets’ where local vendors can promote their goods and services.

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