COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The City of Columbus is allowing restaurants to resume outdoor dining beginning on March 15.
According to Mayor Andrew Ginther, the city directive is a resumption of the Outdoor Searing Pilot Program implemented last year.
“The pilot program successfully allowed patrons to support local restaurants, with more socially distanced outdoor seating in place to help prevent COVID-19 transmission,” Ginther said. “Resuming the program as warm weather approaches will help these businesses and their employees continue to rebound from the pandemic’s impact.”
The 2021 pilot program will operate the same as in 2020:
- Restaurants and bars may apply for expedited approval from the City of Columbus at https://portal.columbus.gov/permits/.
- A completed application with a site plan that shows the proposed layout of the outdoor dining area will be reviewed by the appropriate city department or division.
- The city will waive the permit fee this year.
- All temporary outdoor seating areas must comply with the pilot requirements and with state and local health requirements intended to slow or prevent COVID-19 transmission.
In 2020, seven restaurants had permits approved for on-street dining, and 18 restaurants were approved for expanded seating in their parking lots.