New restaurants might soon be banned in Dubrovnik

Photo: James Gabbert (iStock)

It should come as no surprise that a city built in the 7th century was not constructed with 2019 crowds in mind. The ancient Croatian city of Dubrovnik, which has seen tourism surge since it became the filming location for Game Of Thrones in 2011, is experiencing crowds it simply wasn’t designed for. Now, to combat the issue, the city is weighing a measure that would effectively ban any new restaurants in Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

According to CNN, the city council will vote in December on a proposal to ban outdoor tables and chairs at any new restaurants in Old Town for the next five years. But the businesses in Old Town are small spaces set into the city’s stone walls, which means outdoor seating is often a restaurant’s only option. Essentially, the ban keeps any new restaurants from opening during that period; a new restaurant wouldn’t even be allowed to open in place of any old ones that close during the five-year span.

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This isn’t the only measure being put forth to reduce overcrowding. Mayor Mato Franković has also limited cruise ships and souvenir stands in an attempt to keep streets clear for pedestrians, reminiscent of Florence’s fines for eating on certain streets. Still, the idea of no new restaurants to check out for half a decade is a bit of a mixed bag. Hopefully the lack of competition doesn’t mean the city’s chefs start resting on their laurels.

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