Expanded outdoor seating now allowed in Tuscaloosa

Expanded outdoor seating in Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The city of Tuscaloosa is now allowing restaurants to expand their dining spaces to accommodate social distancing rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Temporary Expanded Dining program gives restaurants the option to expand dining space into public or privately owned spaces like parking areas.

The city will begin accepting applications for the permit Wednesday, September 23.

Restaurant owners should visit Tuscaloosa.com/ExpandedDining to access the full policy, FAQs, and the application.

We spoke to the folks at Buffalo Phil’s on University Blvd about the new permit option.

“It makes it more comfortable for one. I think they realize we are trying to follow the guidelines as closely as possible and go above and beyond,” said assistant manager Karen Pons.

Eligible restaurants may also have their alcohol license expanded to the temporary premise.

The city sent WBRC a statement: “From discussions with local restaurant owners, we believe that this is a great step toward helping our local business owners while keeping the health and safety of our community at the top of mind. The City is constantly working with local business owners and community members to take strategic steps toward an open and vibrant economy.”

The temporary permit will last from October 1 through December 13, unless occupancy restrictions are removed or the program is canceled before that time.

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