DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The City of Dayton announced a pilot program that will help businesses citywide increase outdoor seating where indoor seating is limited due to COVID-19.
The announcement was made at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. The program will include several types of businesses and not just restaurants. The plan also will include the entire City of Dayton, including businesses outside of the Oregon District.
“Now that we do have better testing capacity up and running, the Mayor and the City Manager feel like we’re in a better spot to open these kinds of spaces,” explained Susan Vincent, with the Department of Planning and Community Development.
The pilot program will allow businesses to use parking lots and parking spaces for outdoor seating, although streets will not be closed, according to the City. There is no information on how to apply or whether a fee will be required to apply, but the City said a guidebook will be coming soon with the rules businesses will need to follow.
The program is expected to begin June 1 and run thorough October 31.
“If we were able to expand our liquor license and our dining option further to our parking lot or our side walk it would move us from just treading water to being able to be a profitable business again,” said Brian Johnson who runs Yellow Cab Tavern. “The profit center for most restaurants is the bar, so having liquor license expanding as part of this move is an important part that we’d like to see.”
“Our initial concern was that liquor permits have that hard boundary and we’re looking to expand that boundary. So we’re hoping that liquor control will have some flexibility as we develop these guidelines and help people install these spaces,” said Vincent.
The City of Clayton approved expanded outdoor seating last week for restaurants. The Council approved a new temporary onsite outdoor seating permit which will allow for a portion of the restaurant’s already approved seating to be moved outdoors at Thursday night’s regularly scheduled Clayton City Council meeting.
2 NEWS is working to learn more about this pilot program and will keep you updated when more information is available.