PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Diners are winning in the battle over the future of outdoor dining in Philadelphia. The battle is over how long it will last.
Outdoor dining was a main reason these restaurants survived the brunt of the pandemic. Now, they are slowly getting back on their feet and they want to keep it that way.READ MORE: Pennsauken Police Searching For Hit-And-Run Driver Who Killed Shadid Fauntleroy While Crossing Route 130
Sidewalks and streets transformed. Streeteries are now a common sight in Philadelphia. But now, outdoor dining is set to expire at the end of the year
Philadelphia City Council is looking to extend it.
“Yeah, it would be nice to see the city has al fresco dining,” The Plough and the Stars General Manager Erin Callahan said. “We don’t know how long COVID will be around and what’s coming in the future.”
Callahan says right now, about 70% of business is outside. She says a lot of money went into creating the pop-up dining experience.
“It’s a big investment between lighting, permits, structure itself,” Callahan said, “took a lot of time and money and it would be a shame to rip it all down.”READ MORE: Upper Darby Mayor Unveils Plan To Resolve Battle Over Control Of Summer Stage
Philadelphia City Councilmember Alan Domb recently proposed making outdoor dining a permanent fixture in the city, but Council President Darrell Clarke is proposing a six-month extension.
At Cuba Libre, Assistant General Manager Aaron Bowers says it’s something they would love to keep in place too — not just for a few months but permanently.
“This spring and summer, we have a beautiful city and a beautiful setup and we should be able to enjoy it and a space where you feel comfortable,” Bowers said.
Bowers says offering up options makes the dining experience more comfortable for guests who are starting to venture out again.
“To have the option like you can go outside, inside, upstairs, downstairs, the bar, I feel like more options you have for people the more comfortable people feel,” Bowers said.MORE NEWS: Man Robs 16-Year-Old Girl At Knifepoint At SEPTA Station, Police Say
The expansion would give restaurants until the summer of 2022. City Council still has to vote on this.