Hanover Street ‘block parties’ being revisited by Manchester aldermen
Alderman Pat Long met Friday with about a dozen representatives from businesses on Hanover Street and the surrounding area to discuss concerns about significant changes to the original plan that allowed for closing the street to traffic and create a pedestrian way with expanded outdoor seating for restaurants, live music and other attractions.
“I hear from people all the time saying they like the idea,” Long said. “This has been a success in the past. I know it’s also had its headaches.”
Hanover Street eateries said the program has been a boon to business during what is traditionally a slow time of year. At the same time, neighboring businesses complained the Hanover Street shutdown drew patrons away from other establishments and their business suffered.
Long said new restaurant ownership on Hanover Street had not consulted with neighbors before submitting a request to the Committee on Public Safety, which passed it on May 5. Moe L’Heureux, who owns a building across Hanover Street from the Palace Theatre, addressed the full board the night after the committee vote.
“As long as they close after six,” manager Betsy Coco said.
The Palace Theatre was wary of the closures going to Oct. 25, although president and CEO Peter Ramsey said he would be open to discussing options when Long got the group together Friday. The agreement was to bring back the closure for another summer, but not extend it into the fall and continue waiting until 6 p.m. before barricading the street.