One of the things the pandemic brought us were social districts and it looks like those are going to stay in Grand Rapids.

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While the pandemic was shutting many restaurants and bars down, social districts started popping up allowing a few to dine or enjoy a cold beverage with a few friends outside.

Social Districts to Stay in Grand Rapids

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ViewApart/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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FOX 17 reported that the Grand Rapids Chamber has made the announcement that the city's social districts will be a permanent mainstay.

Social districts are here to stay, which means the options for Grand Rapids diners will forever be expanded," says Chamber President & CEO Rick Baker.

Social Districts Impact on the Public

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At a time when most people couldn't or wouldn't go anywhere because of the COVID-19 virus, social districts began popping up to give people a chance to get out after being cooped up for several months or more.

We learned during the pandemic that being outside was safer and who doesn't like a cool breeze sitting outside with a cold drink with some friends?

Social Districts in Other Markets

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Aaron P/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images
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I have traveled to most major markets across the country from my days of being a traveling musician and one thing I liked when I got to Hollywood was their social districts. This was pre-pandemic and a way of life for most restaurants and bars on the Sunset Strip. I remember walking down the street and almost every establishment had tables and chairs out front. It was just a great atmosphere to just be walking by let alone actually sitting down and having dinner and a drink.

Social Districts Bring a Positive Vibe

Happy young couple sitting in a cafe outside on a beautiful autumn day.
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One thing I noticed in my travels of cities with social districts is the positive vibe it gives its citizens. People talking, laughing, enjoying the fresh air and it just feels good to be in those areas.

Sometimes it's the little things that just make things better. Plus who wants to go inside when the weather is great outside. Social districts will bring even more business to the downtown businesses in Grand Rapids. If its good for business and people well being, its good for the city.

Social Districts in Grand Rapids

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Tommy Carroll/TSM
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There are a few social districts right in the downtown area near Uccellos and Cinco De Mayo. There is one at Creston Brewery and soon The Mitten Brewing Co. will reactivate theirs. There are more than 50 participating businesses already doing this in Grand Rapids, and more than likely this will grow over time.

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