As you can imagine, we have have had a lot of inquiries about plans for outdoor dining moving into winter. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers.
What we can tell you is that as far as we know, there are no discussions to end outdoor dining and expansions any time soon. The outdoor expansion permits are not set to expire until the City’s emergency declaration is lifted. While that doesn’t give a definite timeline we expect to have the expansions areas in place through the end of the year and more than likely continuing into the new year and will continue to support our businesses as they experience the impacts of reduced occupancy and restrictions on use of interior space.
There are efforts to create guidelines for implementing use of heaters as well as discussion about creating more lighting infrastructure as the days get darker.
Economic Development Department met with the Fire Department last Thursday to talk about weatherizing the expansion areas. They are now developing guidelines and we hope to have updated information about what will be allowed for tents, lighting, and heating in the coming week or two.
We are certainly aware of how important it is to keep our Downtown restaurants up and running and will continue to keep you posted as we advocate with our partners at the City and state.