The City of Columbus is extending for another month the outdoor dining program launched in August to let restaurants take advantage of outdoor space.
The program allowed seating in parking lots, sidewalks, and even streets in some low-traffic areas so restaurants could serve more patrons while maintaining safe social distancing. Columbus mayor Andy Ginther says the program had been "a lifeline" for restaurants struggling with reduced seating during the pandemic.
Many restaurants had complained that the application process for the temporary program was complicated and cumbersome, and falling temperatures may cool interest in continuing the experiment.
Nearly 2 dozen restaurants have taken advantage of the program which was scheduled to expire Saturday. Applications can be filed at the Columbus.gov portal.