Manhattan Beach to limit outdoor dining

Local news

The city of Manhattan Beach’s outdoor dining program expires on Jan. 3, and some local business owners are upset that it won’t continue longer.

“We have a tremendous amount of people who just do not want to dine inside. They want to be outside, they want to be where it’s ventilated, they want to be where they can have more space from our guests,” said David LeFevre, owner of Fishing with Dynamite. “It also affects our crew members, who like having our guests spread out in the restaurant.

David Slay, owner of Slay Restaurants, added that he doesn’t “think it was a smart decision” to end the dining deck program.

“It’s still a trying time with COVID and with the new outbreak,” Slay said.

After Jan. 3, restaurants in Manhattan Beach will have three days to take down their outdoor dining decks.

In Hermosa Beach, however, the program has been extended through May.

“As we are facing a resurgence or possible resurgence of COVID during the winter months, this is something that the community and the council felt like we needed to continue,” said Hermosa Beach Mayor Michael Detoy.

In an emailed statement, Manhattan Beach Mayor Hildy Stern said the decks have had “numerous” impacts, including on street cleanliness, traffic, safety and noise, as well as on businesses who rely on parking that is now being used for decks.

“The use of the public right-of-way for outdoor dining requires a comprehensive analysis that includes feedback from all stakeholders and careful consideration of all that we have learned since inception of the program,” Stern said. “That is why City Council directed City staff to thoroughly study this as a long-term option. 

“Outdoor dining on sidewalks, patios and other public right-of-ways is not affected by this change, and is widely available throughout Manhattan Beach.”

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