Gadsden council considers allowing restaurants to expand to outdoor dining

Gadsden councilors want more outdoor dining options

GADSDEN, Ala. (WBRC) - A Gadsden council member says he’d like to see more restaurants allowed to having outdoor dining, at least during the COVID-19 emergency.

Usually restaurants can seat people outside with proper permitting, but councilor Jason Wilson says he’d like to see the council preemptively approve it.

He says many of the downtown restaurant owners tell him they can’t afford to stay in business if they exercise social distancing.

They say that's especially true if they have to reduce their seating capacity by 50 percent.

“We see this as a way to assure social distancing and maintain the public safety and public health of our citizens, while also giving our restaurant owners, an opportunity to survive and thrive in these times,” Wilson said.

One restaurant, Tre Regazzi's, hasn't reopened yet for those very reasons. The owners made the announcement on Facebook.

Gadsden has an entertainment district which allows restaurants to serve alcohol that can be enjoyed off premises, but the governor’s orders have closed all entertainment districts in Alabama, so another councilor has requested the city attorney look into the complications that could arise.

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