LOS ANGELES, CA — Councilmember David Ryu introduced a motion on Tuesday to permanently implement the "LA Al Fresco" program that allows restaurants to seat customers in modified parking spaces, sidewalks and other areas. The program has made it possible for local restaurants to continue dine-in service despite the countywide ban on indoor dining due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“LA Al Fresco has been a lifeline to our local restaurants,” Councilmember Ryu said in a press release. “It’s a resource that should be permanent in the City of Los Angeles. We need more programs that cut through red tape to support local businesses and give communities a new sense of vibrancy. I commend the Mayor for creating LA Al Fresco, and I think it should be here to stay.”
Monday morning, Mayor Garcetti extended the "Al Fresco" program through the end of 2020. 1,486 businesses have received Al Fresco permits since the program began on May 29, according to Garcetti.
Under Ryu's proposed extension, the city would create a streamlined permit process, including eligibility criteria, safety and infrastructure requirements. Interested businesses would be able to opt-in to the Al Fresco program rather than waiting for approval.
A second phase of the L.A. Al Fresco program launched on June 26, prioritizing businesses and communities that were most directly impacted by the pandemic. The revamped program allowed sidewalk vendors to safely reopen and provided additional resources to BIPOC restaurants and businesses.