Restaurants have embraced outdoor-dining areas during the pandemic, adding televisions outside and moving tables and landscaping to the street. Now, with fall leading into winter, the city on Thursday issued guidelines for winterizing these spaces.
City officials said they wanted restaurants to operate to the best of their ability while maintaining health and safety standards.
Among the rules:
All other rules remain in place, including six-foot separation between chair backs and six-foot-wide paths for pedestrians.
The public solidly favors outdoor dining over indoor dining. An Inquirer survey of 1,115 people found that nearly 80% of respondents were not comfortable with indoor dining, while more than 90% were comfortable with outdoor dining. Most respondents said that heaters, fire pits, and warm drinks would encourage them to keep up outdoor dining, even in colder months.