As Nashville’s hospitality and food service industry fights to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is eyeing a potential lifeline from the pages of the European restaurant playbook: al fresco dining.
Metro Council is considering legislation for final approval on Sept. 15 that could give way for Nashville restaurants to temporarily allow sidewalk cafe dining. It’s aimed at giving restaurants an avenue to expand their outdoor seating while still complying with capacity limitations imposed by the city.
While Metro’s existing sidewalk cafe permit program predates the pandemic, it’s only been an option offered to businesses downtown. If approved, the ordinance would extend the choice throughout the the county, and also allow businesses to utilize some of their private parking spots — not including Accessible Parking Spaces — for additional seating.
“This was a result of the conversations I had with small business owners in the East Nashville community