COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus is once again extending its outdoor dining program first implemented during the pandemic in an effort to allow bars and restaurants the option to expand seating capacity.
Participating bars and restaurants now have until the end of November to provide outdoor seating for patrons. According to the city, that date could be extended further out if officials and the Ohio Restaurant Association deem it practical to do so.
The pilot program was first introduced by the city in summer 2020, and resumed in March 2021. Its goal was to increase seating capacity for businesses while social distancing guidance remained in effect, while simultaneously promoting outdoor dining as a safe way to curb virus spread.
When the city extended the program in September, Mayor Andrew Ginther said in part, “The successful pilot supports the industry, our economy, and the health and well-being of our community as we continue to fight this virus.”
The city plans to implement the same program again in 2022, as long as weather permits, a spokesperson said in an update Monday.