Columbus To Make Temporary Outdoor Restaurant Seating Permanent

The City of Columbus has decided that outdoor on-street dining can stick around.

Originally a measure to help restaurants stay open during the pandemic, the temporary outdoor dining will become permanent beginning March 14.

“The city’s successful outdoor dining pilot supported our local restaurants as they fought through adversity the past two years,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “Making this program permanent celebrates the industry’s resiliency and supports our local economy as our community gets back on track and patrons want to comfortably dine out.”

The program will continue to operate as it did when it launched back in the summer of 2020, with restaurants applying for city permit approval to use the right of way to expand seating into on-street dining areas. The city provides barriers that keep a distance between diners and traffic.

“The Columbus restaurant community is looking forward to restarting on-street dining and expanded patios. The expanded space for restaurant guests adds vibrancy throughout our neighborhoods, keeps workers employed and helps generate additional sales for operators as they continue to rebound from the pandemic,” said John Barker, President and CEO, the Ohio Restaurant Association. “The ORA was happy to partner with city leadership to learn from a pilot program last year and now make it a permanent part of our city’s restaurant scene.”

For restaurants interested in expanding their outdoor dining, they’ll have to provide the city with a site plan that adheres to all federal, state, and local laws. For more info about the program, you can click here.

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