COLUMBUS, Ohio — The City of Columbus is extending its outdoor dining program first implemented during the pandemic to allow restaurants and bars to expand their seating options.
Participating restaurants and bars now have until Nov. 14 to offer expanded seating on the street or in their parking lots.
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.
“The City of Columbus is pleased to extend this program again and work with our local restaurants and bars to provide safe outdoor seating options for patrons,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther. “The successful pilot supports the industry, our economy, and the health and well-being of our community as we continue to fight this virus.”
Currently, 12 restaurants are participating in the program’s right-of-way dining option and an additional 24 have expanded dining into their parking areas. All participating businesses must comply with state health guidance. Under that guidance, tents are allowed in parking lots but must provide an open source of air flow.
According to a release from the city, participating businesses interested in extending their outdoor dining options through mid-November will be contacted by Public Service and Building and Zoning Services. Those still interested in applying can click here.