Edgartown selectmen are exploring a European model for Main street this summer, with an eye on shutting down portions of the town’s narrow sidewalks, roads and parking lots to increase outdoor seating for restaurants and ease pressure on grocery stores.

At the Edgartown selectmen’s meeting Monday, town administrator James Hagerty proposed the idea to the board, saying that as summer approached he felt it was important to brainstorm a solution to the constant supply-chain issues at the Edgartown Stop & Shop.

Since Governor Baker shut down nearly all non-essential businesses in late March, including dine-in restaurants, the town’s only full-service grocery store has struggled to keep up with an increase in demand. While most produce items remain regularly in stock, necessities like eggs, milk and bread, among other items, have experienced shortages. Mr. Hagerty feared that the onset of summer would only perpetuate those concerns.

One solution to alleviate supply-chain pressure on the grocery store would be to ensure that restaurants were open and serving customers to the fullest extent possible when the governor’s stay-at-home order ends, Mr. Hagerty said.

But because the governor is expected to limit indoor seating capacity, Mr. Hagerty proposed making up for lost capacity with increased outdoor seating, gleaning an idea from the piazzas and squares of Paris and Rome. If the governor limits restaurant capacity to 20 per cent, for example, then the town could add 80 per cent capacity outdoors, Mr. Hagerty said.

“Set this summer in a European framework,” he said. “Shut down portions of sidewalks, parking lots and have outdoor seating with chairs.”

He said many logistical questions remain, including how to provide easements to restaurants for outdoor seating, but if selectmen were open to the idea, he would be happy to pursue those details.

“I understand that this is an outside-the-box idea and might ruffle some feathers, but I think we need to think boldly about this,” Mr. Hagerty said.

Selectmen were enthusiastic and encouraged Mr. Hagerty to explore the idea further — and with expediency.

“Getting the restaurants open is vital,” selectman Arthur Smadbeck said. “We’re going to have thousands of people coming to the Island. There’s no way we can just feed them with the Stop & Shop.”

Before anything, however, Mr. Hagerty said he had to reach out to the restaurants and find out what was on their menus, so to speak. “The first question is to even ask the restaurants if they have an appetite for that,” Mr. Hagerty said.

Selectmen also gave him the green light to assemble a reopening task force that would hammer out details and specifics as the town considers the summer. He said the task force would include members of the Edgartown Board of Trade.

“If people don’t go to the restaurants, they aren’t going to go to the stores. If they don’t go to the stores, they aren’t going to come to the harbor,” Mr. Hagerty said. “And if they don’t come to Edgartown . . . there are second and third order effects.”