Coral Gables may extend outdoor dining breaks into 2022
Under Coral Gables’ incoming mayor Vince Lago’s administration, restaurants will be able to use outdoor vacant lots and parking lots beyond the June 15 extended expiration date.
Coming in May, Mr. Lago said, he’s presenting three ordinances that would expand on the outdoor dining experience through January 2022.
“It’s been very successful allowing visitors and residents to feel safe during the Covid-19 pandemic and also to support our local restaurants,” Mr. Lago said. “It has paid significant dividends for our restaurant community.”
The outdoor dining permits were originally offered in fall 2020 and were expected to expire on Jan. 15. The city commission then approved the extended date to June 15 to safely continue to expand and create economic opportunities for businesses impacted by the pandemic.
“The outdoor dining program has been great for the city and our restaurants,” said Commissioner Michael Mena. “To date, we have approved more than 70 outdoor dining permits. This program has been a huge success and demonstrates how government can help businesses in a tangible and direct manner.”
Not only do outdoor dining permits provide additional space to make up for the limits placed on indoor dining, Mr. Mena said, but dining outdoors is preferred by many customers who feel safer there.
This is a win-win situation that benefits the Coral Gables business community and patrons since restaurants are attracting more and more customers each week, Mr. Mena added. “It is incumbent on us to help our residents and our local business community during this challenging time.”