Last Spring, when the Governor limited the seating capacity of restaurants to 25%, local restaurants found it difficult to stay afloat. Many of the restaurants did not have the ability or space to offer outdoor seating to accommodate more guests, particularly in downtown Brooksville.
Brooksville Main Street came up with an idea to help. Picnic tables, graciously on loan from the Hernando Growers Association, were placed around the Courthouse lawn with the permission from the County. This allowed patrons to still visit their favorite local restaurants for take-out and then dine in a safe, socially distant manner, shaded by the majestic oaks and enjoying the vibrant downtown community.
The picnic tables were a huge success for the local eateries and their devoted fans. The County allowed the tables to stay permanently, inspiring the Florida’s Adventure Coast Visitors Bureau to secure funding through the CARES Act to purchase a dozen tables. Natalie Kahler, Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street, thought the tables should look more appealing and commissioned local artists to paint the tables with art representing the best of Hernando County. “Main Street and Tourism partner on many initiatives.” noted Tammy Heon, Manager of Tourism Development. What’s good for Brooksville is good for Tourism so this was another logical opportunity to work together for the good of the community and our many restaurant partners.”
Currently, there are seven tables in front of the Courthouse, each with unique artistry depicting our natural beauty, hiking, manatees, and of course, mermaids. Five more tables are in progress and scheduled to be placed alongside the existing table art, sure to brighten up the dining experience in downtown Brooksville in safe careful way, while adding to the many artistic elements in the historic downtown area.