Outdoor dining program permanent after city adjusts guidelines
A COVID-19-related recovery program put in place for Beaverton restaurants to expand to outdoor dining is now becoming permanent.
It’s called the Open Air Beaverton program. It started in June 2020 as a temporary program and is now permanent as of Nov. 4, with new guidelines.
This permit program has given businesses the opportunity to expand outdoors into private parking lots and public rights of way. The past year it has kept businesses afloat and gave folks the opportunity to indulge in eating out.
One local man said outdoor eating for he and his co-workers is essential.
“We’re here gathered for a team building exercise, generally you go and eat at places,” Andres Cimmarusti said. “(COVID-19) has been difficult. We appreciate the possibility of doing it outdoors especially because it’s in line with the company guidelines for these types of events.”
David Anderson, owner of Syndicate Wine Bar, said this program saved his business in 2020.
Anderson said the new guidelines, which will be effective Sept. 2022, may cost him thousands of dollars to rebuild his current outdoor structures. He said those are required because of permit changes.
“‘We are going to have to rebuild all of this from scratch and this is all funded out of personal resources and the generosity of our customers,” Anderson said. “While I appreciate the city extending the program, the realities are to keep this going as it is, we are going to have to pay out of pocket to rebuild from the ground up.
“To redesign, reconstruct and rebuild just one parking space could easily be $20,000. That’s a lot of money”.
The City of Beaverton is currently assessing a new grant program for the Open Air Beaverton Program to help with costs associated with the permanent permit changes, but there is no word on when it would begin.
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