Us San Diegans know how to dine in and out — after all, we have the perfect climate for it. But even we are surprised at how different our city looks versus two years ago, with tables in outdoor public spaces at many restaurants thanks to the Temporary Outdoor Business Operations permits City Council approved in July 2020. Believe us, we love eating outside, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions + concerns — after all, weren’t those permits supposed to be temporary?
☀️ Will outdoor dining stick around?
The short answer is yes — TOBO permits are set to expire on July 13, 2022 — but Mayor Todd Gloria recognized the benefits of outdoor dining and said he’d make it a permanent option with approval of the Spaces as Places program. For establishments using public, outdoor spaces, a new program means they’ll apply for new licenses.
🔨 Will structures look different?
We know some structures could use a refresh — remember, they were designed to be temporary. Spaces as Places will require structures to be inspected + adhere to strict guidelines. Permit holders are responsible for maintaining the city space they’re using while adhering to the pedestrian right of way.
🅿️ Will parking spaces be replaced?
No, restaurants using public parking areas only need to add spaces if a dining area interferes with ADA requirements.
🚗 How will traffic be impacted?
Gloria wants to build a greener city with more active transportation options, so we’ll be biking + walking. Beyond a reduction in parking spaces, some streets may be closed to create dining promenades, akin to the current state of Fifth Avenue by the Gaslamp Quarter sign.
🍽️ Will indoor dining be reduced?
No, unless impacted by pandemic safety measures. We’re excited to have options, and dare we say, less waiting for a table.