The great outdoors is going to be great for San Diego restaurant owners and diners for another year.
On May 18, the City Council voted to extend an ordinance that allows restaurants and bar/restaurants to have outdoor dining and drinking in the streets in temporary seating areas.
The ordinance will now not expire until July 13, 2022. There is, of course, a chance that it could be made permanent prior to that date.
First established during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, temporary outdoor dining has been a lifeblood for restaurants struggling to have enough customers to stay in business. Outside seating tables popped up all over the city almost overnight after the passing of the ordinance. Some are in modest structures while others are quite elaborate.
Now, there’s even live music at a few places.
They are on sidewalks, street curbs and in adjacent parking lots. At their height, they occupied two-thirds of the width of some streets. In the Gaslamp Quarter, this has led to traffic being blocked off on Fifth Ave., with barricades on weekends. This is likely a precursor to making the popular restaurant-lined street a fully pedestrian throughfare.
“Here at Formula Marketing we are so excited for all of our clients and the community that we can continue to enjoy the lovely outdoor patio dining that we’ve grown to love during the past year,” said Sara Arjmand, president of Formula Marketing, which represents several restaurants throughout San Diego.
In June, the public will be invited to give their thoughts on outdoor dining.
Many people feel that outdoor dining gives San Diego a very European feel to the city. Particularly in Little Italy, which is European in nature in the first place.
Anyone who walks through the Gaslamp on a Friday or Saturday evening will witness a lively outdoor scene along Fifth Ave., and surrounding streets that certainly gives the place an international flavor. They will also be able to feel the lively and positive vibes coming from those seated at the outdoor areas.