Orlando City Council will vote today on whether to extend a Temporary Use Permit to extend outdoor dining into a downtown street as part of an ongoing COVID-19 Economic Recovery Initiative pilot.
City Hall announced in early May that it would be relaxing restrictions on outdoor dining for restaurants in city limits that would like to extend their outdoor seating into the sidewalks and adjacent parking lots, provided they didn’t obstruct traffic or ADA accessibility, but they would still need to seek City approval if they are serving alcohol outside of their business footprint.
Other cities have since taken that time to close whole streets in their downtowns to allow for greater social distancing and expanded dining, as ensuring safety and access to job opportunities is believed by many to be a key part to the recovery of local economies.
The City of Orlando is considering the option themselves by proposing shutting off the Osceola Avenue cul-de-sac near Lake Eola to allow for the adjacent businesses and the Thornton Park Main Street to extend their businesses into the right-of-way.
Hours of operation for the pop-up open-air dining plaza will run from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Other restrictions include:
- No glassware allowed on the cul-de-sac.
- Tables and chairs for individual parties must be placed a minimum of 10-feet apart.
- Parties shall be limited to no more than six people at any given location.
- All patrons must be seated.
- Reservations are required to use the area.
- Disposable menus only.
- Hand sanitizer must be accessible to patrons and employees.
- Contactless ordering and payment is encouraged.
- Bars shall not use the area unless allowed for by Governor DeSantis.
- Employees must be temperature checked at the beginning of their shifts.
- Rules must be posted on-site by the Thornton Park Main Street.
The pilot would operate in two-week increments through September 1, 2020, unless the Council extends a separate action or the program is terminated. The City expects that it will be able to accommodate other areas like the cul-de-sac project through its regular 18-A special event permitting process.