Palm Beach dining story from M.M. Cloutier.
Since the Town Council last week adopted a measure to help island eateries contend with coronavirus-related occupancy restrictions, several restaurants have applied for new or additional outdoor seating.
As of late Tuesday, applications for outdoor seating from Coyo Taco, Cucina, Sant Ambroeus and LoLa 41 had been approved, according to Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar.
Applications from Green’s Pharmacy and Buccan were pending approval as of late Tuesday. Other restaurants have said they plan to apply for outdoor seating under the measure the council passed on May 13.
The provision, which promises a 24-hour timeline for processing applications, allows eateries to seek town staff approval to temporarily stage expanded outdoor seating in privately and publicly owned spaces. There is no fee to apply.
Except for Buccan, all restaurants that have submitted applications so far have sought additional seating on nearby private property; Buccan is seeking outdoor seating in nearby town-owned Memorial Park, according to Boodheshwar.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, outdoor seating at restaurants is in high demand. Island restaurants, which were permitted to reopen May 11 after a weeks-long state-mandated closure due to the coronavirus, say their customers want to dine outdoors over indoors right now.
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That’s on top of occupancy restrictions restaurants currently face.
As of Friday, when Gov. Ron DeSantis eased reopening restrictions he’d previously established, restaurants are permitted to operate at 50 percent capacity in their dining rooms. There’s no limit on outdoor seating, but tables must be spaced 6 feet from each other.
The Town Council’s outdoor-seating provision for restaurant also allows retail stores to seek permission for temporary outdoor displays to expand their space, making it easier for customers to keep a safer distance from other people.
As of late Tuesday, two retail stores had applied, including Avalon and Kemble Interiors, according to Boodheshwar.
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