The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to make the al fresco dining program permanent on Friday, December 15. Under the new ordinance, restaurants serving alcohol must pay $400 for an outdoor alcohol permit; background music, volume from television, and live music are prohibited; patios must close by 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and no later than 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, among other rules. (Restaurants spanning less than 3,000 square feet or outdoor dining areas spanning less than 1,000 square feet will not have to comply with the new rules.) Now, the law awaits a signature from Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.
Former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and the City Council launched the al fresco program in May 2020 to allow restaurants to convert public spaces like sidewalks and parking lots into outdoor dining areas due to the COVID-19 pandemic; changes to the ordinance have been underway since early 2023. Before the program, outdoor dining permits were costly and took months to approve. The al fresco program has significantly changed the landscape and culture around outdoor dining in Los Angeles.
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