Seattle City Council extends outdoor dining permits through January

Eating outdoors in Seattle will continue after city council voted to extend the free street dining permit program through next year.

The free café street and outdoor dining program was set to expire in May, but on Tuesday the city council voted 8-0 to keep it in place.

Permits will now be extended through Jan. 31, 2023.

This will allow restaurants and other retail storefronts to use streets outside their businesses for outdoor dining or displays.

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Councilmember Dan Strauss, Chair of the Land Use Committee, sponsored the legislation.

"This is another meaningful step along the pathway to permanence I created last year after hearing from many small businesses about the success of café streets," said Strauss. "We will ensure that these free permits continue to be available until the City Council, Seattle Department of Transportation, and Mayor Harrell establish permanent guidelines that are right-sized and meet the needs of our city."

Many businesses said outdoor dining helped them stay afloat during the pandemic as social distancing forced them to cut down the number of tables allowed inside.

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