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Sep 04

Restaurants Embrace City’s OpenAir Temporary Outdoor Dining Initiative

Posted on September 4, 2020 at 12:13 PM by Thomas Reeves

As we celebrate Modesto’s 150th anniversary, I know you share the pride in how Modesto has developed in activities, culture, and food, and how you look forward to enjoying a break at one of your favorite establishments.  Even in the midst of a pandemic, with businesses around town having to teeter between closing and reopening, we share a sense of optimism that our local economy will thrive.

In response to state and local health orders, the City stepped up and developed an outdoor dining program to help businesses remain open.  In our search for a solution, we came up with what we hope is an easy, relatively informal way to help our hard-working restaurants continue to do business. Though the initiative is streamlined, public safety remains top priority and all State and County health and licensing regulations must be met.   

Picasso's Deli

 Picasso's Deli at 10th and J Street
The OpenAir Temporary Outdoor Dining Initiative takes precedent over normal outdoor dining and encroachment permitting.  Restaurants can quickly get a plan approved to take advantage of available outside space, including: 
  • Extending outdoor seating onto the sidewalk.
  • Extending outdoor seating into parking lots.
  • Construction of parklets in shared right-of-way.  
The list of participating restaurants is growing, and some have produced innovative and attractive spaces to keep serving their customers.  We encourage more of our restaurants to join the OpenAir Initiative and to take advantage of our great end-of-summer weather.  

As you drive, bike, or walk around our City, you may be surprised how many of our restaurants have gone al fresco.  We applaud our restaurants and their dedication in the face of hardship; they truly reflect much of what is great about Modesto, and we hope that many of our residents will continue to support their local businesses during these unprecedented times.  

Information on the OpenAir initiative can be found on the OpenAir page on City of Modesto’s website
 Commonwealth at 1022 11th Street