Funding for Phase 2 of Los Angeles’ Al Fresco program has run out, resulting in a temporary pause on the issuance of in-street dining permits for restaurants, Deputy Press Secretary for the Mayor’s Office Harrison Wollman confirmed to the Business Journal.
But Wollman said Phase 1, which expedites the permit process for restaurants to set up tables and serve diners on sidewalks and in private parking lots, has no external cost to the city and won’t stop anytime soon.
“We have continued to offer permits,” he said. “That has not stopped.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti activated Phase 1 in May in an effort to help local restaurants survive the coronavirus pandemic by creating new outdoor dining options as indoor dining rooms remained closed. He expanded the program in late June to allow for the creation of in-street Al Fresco zones in Phase 2.
Wollman said the “vast majority” of Al Fresco applications are for sidewalk and parking lot permits, not in-street ones. Only 50 in-street applications have been approved, and installing the necessary infrastructure for those 50 restaurants to serve patrons in the street exhausted the initial $750,000 allotment in the budget.
He confirmed restaurants that have already been approved for in-street dining can continue to serve customers there while the city looks for more funding.
The only Valley neighborhood to establish an in-street Al Fresco zone is North Hollywood, which did so last month along a densely populated stretch of Magnolia Boulevard. Existing Al Fresco permits for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are set to expire Dec. 31.