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Temporary Street Closure for Dining to Begin February 12

Feb 03, 2021 09:10AM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Outdoor dining at Nando Trattoria on Manhattan Ave. in Manhattan Beach. Photo via Nando Trattoria.

Manhattan Beach will implement a "targeted temporary street closure" on Manhattan Avenue to allow for additional social distancing at those restaurants offering outdoor dining in the public right-of-way.

Beginning on February 12, Manhattan Avenue between Manhattan Beach Boulevard and 12th Street will be closed to vehicles, with Center Place remaining open for east-west traffic only. The street closure will remain in effect until further notice, subject to an assessment by the city. 

“The City is again taking a balanced approach to assisting our restaurants while ensuring health and safety of our community. Closing Manhattan Avenue allows for more spacing, which is necessary to prevent crowding in an area that has lots of restaurants in close proximity,” said Mayor Suzanne Hadley in a statement.

 Residents and motorists are encouraged to take Highland Avenue for north-south travel, and to use Center Place for local traffic only.

The expansion into the public right-of-way dates back to last November, when the city approved the street closure. That effort never came to fruition, however, because almost immediately afterwards, Los Angeles County suspended outdoor dining.

It was not until last Friday that the county allowed restaurants to reopen in-person outdoor dining.

At Tuesday night's City Council meeting when the street closures were announced, Councilmember Steve Napolitano, a member of the ad hoc subcommittee that is overseeing the effort, asked for residents' patience with the temporary closure. 

"We’re flexible," said Napolitano, noting that there was not an official end date in place for the closure. "We’’ll make adjustments along the way as we need to. We’re going to evaluate after the weekend and see where we are then."

Street Closure Follows Reopening of Outdoor Dining

Last Friday's reopening of in-person outdoor dining began with Governor Newsom lifting the Regional Stay-at-Home Order on January 25. Following this action, Los Angeles County issued an updated Health Officer Order on January 29, allowing outdoor dining to resume with updated safety protocols to protect employees and customers. 

According to the updated health order, restaurant staff and diners must observe the following protocols:

  • Employees must wear both face coverings and a face shield;
  • Diners must be single household only, 6 persons or fewer at a table;
  • Tables must be spaced at least 8 feet apart to ensure physical distancing;
  • Televisions/screens must remain off and no entertainment is permitted;
  • Customers must wear face coverings until food or drinks arrive and after finishing meal;
  • Customers must wear face covering when the server approaches the table;
  • Face coverings must be worn when the customer leaves the table;
  • Customers may not walk around or stand while eating or drinking; and
  • Customers must wash or sanitize their hands.

Although Los Angeles County has lifted some restrictions, the risk of spreading the virus is still high. If the cases and hospitalizations spike again, restrictions could be reimposed. The city encourages residents to stay at home as much as possible and always wear a face covering when outside their household and around others.

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