Cleveland City Council Passes Legislation to Keep Extended Outdoor Dining, Drinking Options for Restaurants and Bars Through at Least June 2021


  • Courtesy Kerry McCormack

Today, Cleveland City Council has passed legislation that will renew the temporary program that allows bars and restaurants to extend outdoor seating into parking lots, streets and other public rights-of-way, including on-street parking areas and parklets. The original emergency ordinance was passed in June to help address the negative impact on those businesses from the effects of COVID-19.

According to Cleveland City Councilman Kerry McCormack, the legislation will be in effect until June of 2021, but there will likely be an amendment raised at the following meeting to allow the temporary patios to remain until November 2021.

Now that council has passed the legislation, McCormack explains, the administration must do its part by making the permitting process as transparent and efficient as possible.

“We need to have a clear set of guidelines for restaurants,” McCormack says. “If we’re going to ask the restaurants, whether it’s an inspection or some sort of permission, it needs to be clear across the board and it needs to happen in lightning speed. We have to make sure the administration part is flawless and easy for these restaurants. There shouldn’t even be a whiff of bureaucracy in their way to get done what they need to get done to support their business.”

The third leg of that stool, of course, is us, the diners, who need to continue supporting local bars and restaurants every way possible in hopes of providing a lifeline to help them survive this seemingly never-ending health and economic crisis.

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