L.A. City Council Moves Toward Making Outdoor Dining A Permanent Attraction

The Los Angeles City Council is moving toward making the emergency outdoor dining wrought by the pandemic a permanent feature of local life.

On Wednesday, the council asked the city’s agencies for reports on the pros and cons of L.A. Al Fresco, an outdoor dining program that was started in the pandemic. The program allows restaurants and bars to expand their dining areas onto streets, sidewalks and parking lots to accommodate customers and maintain proper social distancing limits.

The approval process was also streamlined for the new outdoor dining areas, and provided planters, barricades and umbrellas to dining establishments in order to create the outdoor dining areas.

The council voted 14-0 with one absence on a motion that asks city agencies to issue reports on the L.A. Al Fresco program.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has backed the move, and his 2021/2022 budget includes $2 million in grants for low-income neighborhood restaurants to create permanent areas for outdoor dining.

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