Southwest Detroit restaurants getting 'luminarias' for outdoor dining

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Posted at 9:44 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 13:38:15-05

(WXYZ) — An outdoor dining experience is expected to come to Southwest Detroit to help restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic and partial shutdown.

The Southwest Detroit Business Association announced that there will be 15 luminarias in January and February as part of The Luminarias of Southwest Detroit.

They are specially-built to endure Michigan winters, are heated and hold up to six people inside. They are designed to mimic the look of a traditional Mexican luminaria.

“The SDBA recognizes the need to provide support to our businesses and restaurant community during these challenging times,” said SDBA Vice President of Programs and Compliance Jennifer Gomez. “This program began as a functional solution for our restaurants, but we are so excited that it now also has become a signature branding opportunity and attraction for the SWD community. This exciting program will provide a lifeline to area businesses, helping owners recover a portion of lost revenue while also creating a one-of-a-kind dining experience that can only be found in Southwest Detroit."

Luminarias date back more than 300 years in Mexican culture, according to the SDBA, and the ones in southwest Detroit will have five sides and plexiglass with lights in a variety of colors.

The first luminaria will be at Armando's Mexican Restaurant. Other restaurants do have to make a $1,000 commitment for each luminaria, and limited space is available for restaurants interested in the program.

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