Leaders say Taste of Tallahassee shows city is closer to 18-hour downtown

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 18, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Taste of Tallahassee is an annual event celebrating all the Capital City has to offer, showcasing local restaurants and breweries for legislators; local leaders say the city is getting closer to its goal of an 18-hour downtown.

New bars and restaurants are responsible for that optimism.

Bar 1903 is the latest downtown addition, some calling it a tribute to Tallahassee's history.

"Opening weekend had 400 to 500 people coming just for a 36 seat bar. So that spillover leads to great things for the rest of our downtown community, that leads to much higher foot traffic," said Downtown Improvement Authority CEO Elizabeth Emmanuel.

Eve on Adams is the newest rooftop bar, looking over downtown from the top of the DoubleTree Hotel.

"We're seeing a lot more local involvement in these projects that play a big part in getting more people downtown and that's going to lead to the most success," said Emmanuel.

Another major development downtown is the Cascades Project. It includes hotel and office space scheduled to be complete in 2020, as well as townhomes and apartments scheduled for completion in 2021.

"Living spaces, especially those that are open for rent are going to be a huge game changer for our downtown landscape," said Emmanuel.

Washington Square construction has been at a standstill since July, but the developer told WCTV they hope to begin soon, now that they have settled all liens.

Mayor John Dailey says the city is dreaming big.

"Public amenities, public bathrooms downtown, and other things that support a vibrant downtown, so it's really exciting," Dailey said.

Taste of Tallahassee includes many local food trucks that are not usually in the downtown area; Dailey hopes to make them a more permanent fixture in the future.

"Any time that we can create either policy or physical space that help them thrive as a small business but bring them downtown and let them sell their food, it's a great opportunity," said Dailey.

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