Last year, the city of Grand Rapids designated several city blocks as "Social Zones" to help promote supporting local restaurants and bars during the pandemic.  These "Social Zones" are designated outdoor dining areas in the city where patrons can enjoy food and drinks outside.  Some of the zones even allow drinking of approved alcoholic beverages in areas called "Refreshment Areas".

Last week, the city approved 4 more districts that encompass 35 city blocks to be designated as "Social Zones".  These new districts include Creston, Fourth & Stocking, Michigan Street and West Leonard.  It hasn't been announced if there will be any additions to the "Refreshment Areas" within the new districts, but we would be surprised if there weren't. explains the "Refreshment Areas" as: "The outdoor "Refreshment Area" was established Downtown Grand Rapids in July 2020 to promote outdoor business and recreation.  Within the Refreshment Area, patrons of participating restaurants, pubs and entertainment venues may carry an open alcoholic beverage up to 16 ounces in a designated container."

The City of Grand Rapids also put together a guide for parking downtown in the "Social Zones".  And if you aren't familiar with the whole "Social Zone" and "Refreshment Zone" thing, you can check out an excellent rundown of everything on

With the pandemic finally seeming like it is under control, it is awesome that the City of Grand Rapids that is embracing these "Social Zones" instead of ending the program.  So get out there and enjoy some drinks and food downtown!

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