Raleigh eases rules to expand outdoor seating for restaurants
Posted June 11, 2020 6:09 p.m. EDT
Updated June 11, 2020 8:03 p.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The City of Raleigh will allow restaurants and other businesses to expand seating to public property beginning on Friday. After months of struggling through a pandemic plus a riot, officials hope this will give business owners a much-needed break and boost their sales.
“We put this plan into motion because of COVID-19. We didn’t expect what was going to happen last week as well,” said Whitney Schoenfeld, of the city’s office of emergency management.
Any business currently allowed to be open, like restaurants, can use City of Raleigh property, including sidewalks, parking spaces, even entire streets for seating. First, they must get a temporary license from the city. In most cases, the license is free, unless additional work or sectioning off is needed.
“We’ll do it as quickly as possible,” Schoenfeld said of the application process. “It’s really just an opportunity to help support our local businesses and get customers back in. It will help them social distance and help with economic recovery.”
Officials know the recovery will not come quick, so the changes will last through all phases of North Carolina’s reopening.
“Plus, we’ll give an additional 30-day grace period after that,” Schoenfeld said.
The Flying Biscuit in Cameron Village, which is on private property, has created a well-spaced outdoor patio on what were once parking spaces.
“We now are able to have more tables outside than we do inside,” said Dan Palatucci, Flying Biscuit’s manager. “People are very much wanting to sit out here as much as possible.”
For more details and how to apply with the city click here.