Bend City Council working to expand outdoor dining for restaurants

Bend’s City Council has agreed to find ways for restaurants to expand their footprint beyond their front doors.

City staff is currently working on guidelines for more outdoor dining. Mayor Sally Russell said it could help restaurants stretch seating capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

“We’ll be possibly expanding into our public right of ways as well as being able to use our private right of ways, like parking lots for instance, to really make sure that our businesses have this space under these new rules,” Mayor Russell said.

Mayor Russell said the move is part of a larger effort to support local small businesses, as phase one guidelines limit how many customers they can accept.

City Council will discuss specifics of the proposal at a future council meeting.

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