al Fresco off Main: Live music, food, and a place to gather, right in the middle of downtown Mesa

The restaurant industry has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic, so in an effort to support restaurants, one Valley city is inviting people outside.

Downtown Mesa has set up a dining communal area on Macdonald north of Main where people can have food delivered to them.

This space all started about a month ago and it has been successful. With many people gathering, now the nearby restaurants are delivering food and Valley musicians have been invited to play.

Live music, food, and a place to gather, right in the middle of downtown Mesa.

"In the COVID environment, we want to make sure people have an opportunity to come down and enjoy these great new restaurants," said Mesa Mayor John Giles.

The goal behind this communal area is to support Mesa's local businesses and create a way to gather outside.

Starting Feb. 11, the city announced the start of Downtown Dash, a delivery service -- right to your table.

Here's how it works:

  1. Review menus available at each table at al Fresco off Main
  2. Order meal and pay by phone online or via QR Code
  3. Fill out al Fresco card and wave down host
  4. Downtown Dash will deliver your food when it’s ready at no extra cost

"This is a time with these businesses to close and curtail.. we have tied their hands back in a lot of ways, so we are looking for every opportunity we can to support them and this is one way we can do that," said Giles.

Mesa is also supporting local artists by bringing live concerts to this space.

"It means a lot to be able to interact with people and human beings again to express themselves and becomes a symbiotic relationship," said Jay Allan, a musician from Phoenix.

Like many artists, Allan's work was halted during the pandemic. He says having this opportunity to play live again is special.

"Even if it wasn't COVID, it is such an amazing opportunity."

And as he plays, many stopped by to enjoy their meals together with coworkers and friends.


  • al Fresco Off Main: Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Host and Downtown Dash: Thursday - Saturday 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.,  4 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Lunch Concert Series: Thursday - Saturday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Evening Concert Series: Friday and Saturday 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.