The City Council on Monday unanimously agreed to add $275,000 to the city’s On-Street Dining program, but the program could go back to the Economic Development and Technology Committee.
“Outdoor dining has proven to be good for consumers and restaurants alike,” said Councilman Victor Gordo, who chairs the Committee. “The city has a responsibility to ensure that the program is workable for restaurants and their clientele and at the same time sustainable.”
The money will be appropriated from several city funds, including $100,000 from the city’s Off Street Parking Fund, $100,000 from the Old Pasadena Parking Meter Fund and $75,000 from the general fund.
Implementation of the on-street dining program is estimated to cost $200,000. For each street segment with a partial closure there are costs associated with re-striping travel lanes, re-striping for diagonal parking, rental and installation of barricades, and rental of ADA compliant ramps. The amount requested is expected to provide budget to close nine street segments in the Playhouse Village and Old Pasadena districts.
“This priority for outdoor dining may be with us for an extended period,” said Mayor Terry Tornek. “We need to be doing some advance thinking about sustaining this.”
At least nine restaurants in Old Pasadena and five in the Playhouse District opened new dining areas on sidewalks, streets and alleys earlier this month.
New configurations were placed on Colorado Boulevard between Madison Avenue to El Molino Avenue; Colorado Boulevard between Fair Oaks Avenue to Raymond Avenue and on Union Street west of Raymond Avenue.
“The measures taken to protect public health have resulted in businesses having to significantly scale back their services or cease operating completely,” the report reads. “The recent rollback of reopening measures directly affects sit down indoor dining at local restaurants and dining establishments. This prolonged economic impact has prompted the city to develop several local business support programs and accelerate action specifically for an on-street dining and parklet program.”
Several restaurant owners told Pasadena Now they had their most successful nights since pandemic shut down orders were issued in April, though with limited capacities.
“I think the business community is relieved that we took the step and provided some relief,” Gordo said.