2. (Some) streeteries could be permanent
Restaurant streeteries that popped up during the pandemic can remain permanent fixtures in Philly — but only in some areas of the city.
Driving the news: City Council passed a bill on Thursday that allows restaurants to continue operating outdoor dining service on street parking spaces in broad swaths of the city.
- That includes Center City, Fishtown, Main Street in Manayaunk, Old City and East Passyunk, among others.
Yes, but: Restaurants and other businesses outside of those pre-selected areas must get approval for a streetery through legislation, which means winning the support of their district legislator.
Flashback: Philly began offering temporary permits for sidewalk cafes and streeteries in response to the coronavirus pandemic last year.
- The city has issued 780 permits for sidewalk cafes and streeteries during the pandemic, said city Department of Licenses and Inspections spokesperson Karen Guss.
Between the lines: The outdoor dining options became lifelines for restaurants, which allowed them to offer in-person dining when COVID restrictions were in effect.
What they're saying: Councilmember Allan Domb, the main sponsor of the bill who had initially proposed to make streeteries permanent citywide, worked with Council President Darrell Clarke on the newly approved legislation.
- Clarke told Axios that streeteries in some areas have led to limited parking and raised accessibility issues.
- "There were significant swaths of residential communities where these things simply don't work," he said.
Of note: Council members also passed legislation that allows the sidewalk cafe permits issued during the pandemic to remain in place through 2022.
- City approvals for outdoor dining streeteries and cafes would have expired at the end of the year.
What's next: The legislation will go to Mayor Jim Kenney for his signature or veto.