Councilman David Ryu introduced a motion Tuesday to establish a permanent version of the L.A. Al Fresco program, which allows restaurants to hold outdoor dining amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Started by the office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Al Fresco program gives restaurants the opportunity to apply for additional seating in parking lots, sidewalks and other areas.
“L.A. Al Fresco has been a lifeline to our local restaurants,” Ryu said. “It’s a resource that should be permanent in the city of Los Angeles. We need more programs that cut through red tape to support local businesses and give communities a new sense of vibrancy. I commend the mayor for creating L.A. Al Fresco, and I think it should be here to stay.”
Ryu said there are 1,586 Los Angeles restaurants currently participating in the program, which Garcetti recently extended to the end of 2020, and restaurants can apply and receive approval in as little as one day.
Through the second phase of L.A. Al Fresco that began June 26, the city will dedicate 55% of the program’s resources to businesses owned by Black, Indigenous or other people of color located in areas that have experienced disproportionate job loss due to COVID-19.
Ryu’s motion also seeks to create a streamlined outdoor dining permitting process for restaurants interested in the program.
The motion will first be heard by the City Council’s Transportation Committee.
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