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Enjoy sidewalk café vibes with Claremont Al Fresco all summer long

by Kathryn Dunn | editor@claremont-courier.com

Outdoor dining opportunities will be greatly expanded after the Claremont City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved a new program, Claremont Al Fresco, which will launch immediately.

Through an uncomplicated one-page application, Claremont restaurant owners city-wide can be approved for a temporary outdoor dining permit to allow for food service that meets social distancing requirements related to COVID-19.

Restaurant owners can submit their application along with a sketch of the proposed seating to the Community Development Department, and city staff will review it with quick turnarounds for approvals. There is no cost to apply for a permit.

“It’s super simple—there is no fee and staff will just look at the diagram,” Bevin Handel, city public information officer, said. “Owners should post a notice for three days prior to beginning outdoor service.”

Once approved, restaurants may expand dining area into exterior space until August 31. There are some guidelines about seating, including maintaining a two-foot space from the street curb and a five-foot wide path left clear for pedestrian traffic. For a sidewalk sale of merchandise, the width of the path may be reduced to four feet with city staff approval.

Restaurants with a liquor license may serve cocktails, beer or wine outdoors, but patrons are not permitted to leave the table and wander the streets with alcohol.

The city had initially come up with three scenarios for Claremont Al Fresco, which included completely closing off Yale Avenue to cars to allow for tables and chairs in the street, Ms. Handel said. That proved too costly an endeavor, so to expedite outdoor dining the temporary outdoor encroachment permit was determined to be the best option.

For more information or to get an application, visit Claremont Al Fresco.

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