With restaurants now limited to outdoor dining, expect to see a massive uptick in pop-up patios, sidewalk cafes, and parking lot transformations in San Diego County and beyond. To help local eateries cope with the new restrictions, Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently signed an executive order that allows restaurants to add more outdoor seating capacity without needing proper permitting as neighborhoods continue to create streetside dining hubs.
Servers, kitchen staff and more just returned to work but following state orders, many may lose their job. I've signed an executive order so restaurants can move dining outdoors without a permit—creating space for workers and patrons to physically distance https://t.co/N39NafR3Nu pic.twitter.com/3IMEFGgFSR— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) July 8, 2020
Street-side dining programs are currently underway in Encinitas, El Cajon, and the Gaslamp while communities such as Poway, Hillcrest, North Park, and La Jolla are working to enable eateries to expand outdoors.
Little Italy, which was the first to launch with its Al Fresco dining event on June 13, has been shutting down a stretch of India Street every Saturday since, giving over curbsides to participating restaurants and providing a 30-foot promenade for visitors. The Little Italy Association, which had added hand sanitization stations throughout the area, is extending the program starting this weekend; going forward, Al Fresco will start on Fridays at 2 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays and noon. Following county guidelines, restaurants must abide by the new 10 p.m. curfew.
And in Kearny Mesa, where most restaurants are set within strip malls instead of directly street-side, a bustling Convoy Street plaza’s shared parking lot has now been closed to traffic, with eateries such as RakiRaki Ramen, Tofu House, and O’Brien’s Pub setting up pop-up patios in front of their storefronts. Other spots in the plaza, including Crab Hut and Tapioca Express, remain open for takeout.
View this post on Instagram
Current expanded patio at the pub! No alcohol on this portion of our patio yet We have our permits submitted to ABC to expand Alcohol service to this part of our new patio but are still waiting for the ok. Hang in there with us . We will let you know exactly when that happens for aure! We also will add 5 more pop-ups for a larger space moving forward into the weekend. We appreciate all of the support. Please stay safe, wear a mask and let's get through this together y'all