PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh City Council will consider a new law that provides an interim solution, implemented to help restaurants survive the pandemic, a permanent pandemic.
A bill proposed by Councilmembers Bobby Wilson and Anthony Coghill would allow restaurants and retailers to apply for permits from the city allowing them to sell on the sidewalks and streets as a permanent occupation. . On Wednesday, the council moved the law out of commission for a vote.
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The option for Pittsburgh restaurants to expand outdoor dining was originally a measure enacted by city leaders during the pandemic under a now-expired emergency declaration.
And as the pandemic drags on and concerns about indoor dining, restaurant owners hope the bill will pass. Restaurant owner Todd Mathias said the pandemic has cut his downtown business in half, as closed office buildings continue to keep most of his workforce customers at home and Others are still hesitant about eating in the house.
So when it’s available, his customers tend to favor outdoor pieces.
Mathias, owner of August Henry’s Burger Bar, said: “When it opened, those were the places that people chose first. “And there’s also limited seating.”
Around the corner at Redbeard’s Bar and Grill, the alfresco dining experience has come to a boil.
“Not everyone is as comfortable eating inside as you might think,” said general manager Brent Kightlinger.
In fact, the restaurant’s 10-table outdoor dining space has been so successful that Kightlinger has built an additional hot water storage to sell hot drinks during the holidays. He also has another update that everyone can cheer for.
“I just had a meeting with (Liquor Control) to renew our liquor license for this space so we can sell alcoholic beverages here,” said Kightlinger.
If outdoor dining becomes permanent in the city, the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership will consider working with the city to add extensions and sidewalk improvements to enhance the experience.
“There is a lot of activity going on on our streets. Delivery and vehicle traffic and bike traffic and accessibility concerns are really important to us to ensure that whatever is done to make it more permanent, real thoughtful, holistic thinking about how the place works,” said Chris Watts, Vice President of County Development for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
The PDP says these improvements will likely be made in areas such as 6th Street and the 900 block of Penn Avenue, which have become important outdoor dining spots.
The city council will vote on the proposed ordinance next Tuesday.
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/10/pittsburgh-city-council-to-consider-legislation-that-makes-outdoor-dining-permanent/ Pittsburgh City Council considers law making al fresco dining permanent – CBS Pittsburgh