In an effort to balance public health
concerns and a business community struggling to cope with the county health order COVID-19 restrictions, Manhattan Beach has repurposed outdoor
dining areas as public seating areas.
The goal is to encourage customers to support the
local business community while providing a socially distant and safe
place to relax and enjoy the holiday shopping experience. The public can
now use spaces previously allocated for outdoor dining and retail areas
during the pandemic.
Those who use these areas must still comply with
all of the county’s revised protocols, including wearing a mask, social
distancing and not gathering with anyone outside of their immediate
“Our business community is struggling to survive the county’s latest
restrictions and the city has a win-win solution to help, while
safeguarding public health,” said Mayor Suzanne Hadley in a statement. “Additional
public seating areas will strike this balance and repurpose public areas
that temporarily can’t be used for outdoor dining because of the county’s restrictions.”
Consistent with the county’s temporary orders, restaurants are not
permitted to serve customers indoors or outdoors, and are limited to
takeout and delivery only.
In addition, the public seating areas will
have regulations consistent with public areas throughout the city. These
- No reservation of seating;
- Face coverings must be worn;
- Maintaining social distancing;
- No smoking or vaping;
- Must throw away trash in receptacles;
- No alcohol;
- No disorderly conduct or noise; and
- No littering or sleeping overnight.
These areas will be closed from 10:00 p.m. to
7:30 a.m. Those who use these areas are asked to sanitize the tables after use. The city
encourages the community to visit all local businesses and enjoy these
public seating areas safely.
Several local restaurateurs spoke out at Tuesday night's City Council meeting in favor of opening up more public outdoor seating areas.
Mike Zislis, owner of Shade Hotel, The Strand House, Rock'N Fish, and Brewco, noted that other cities were also making more spaces available for outdoor eating and shopping.
"We need help right now to just make our
rent and keep some people employed and get through the next month or two until there's
a vaccine," he said. "And as long as it is done properly and we do everything right, this should be
an asset to the community, not a