To roll with the punches a number of restaurants are offering patio service in addition to their takeout and delivery menus, and who are we to complain? After all, L.A. weather makes for perfect outdoor meals. Thanks to a few new temporary programs, some neighborhoods are even closing down streets to make way for dining tables.
A few cities around L.A. County offer programs that place diners on the sidewalks and in parking spaces, including Glendale and Los Angeles—which both offer what they’re calling the “Al Fresco" program”—but a few are going all out and shutting down entire streets or multiple lanes to make pedestrian-friendly thoroughfares built for social distancing and plenty of outdoor eating.
If you want to take it to the streets, here’s where to dine.
Some of Burbank’s busiest blocks are reimagining its downtown to make room for outdoor dining, thanks to a citywide approval to use parking lots and parking spaces for restaurant tables earlier this week, and a new plan to block off streets that goes into effect tonight.
Starting at 10pm, the blocks along San Fernando Boulevard between Angeleno Avenue to Olive Avenue; Olive Avenue to Orange Grove Avenue; and Orange Grove Avenue to Magnolia Boulevard will be blocked off to cars.
Restaurants around these stretches—including Granville, Moana Hawaiian BBQ, Wokcano and the Carving Board—will need to apply for a right-of-way permit, which will run through September 7.
“We have received many requests from the residents and businesses to close San Fernando, we also surveyed our businesses in Downtown and almost all of them were in favor of closing down the street,” says the city manager, Justin Hess. “This will allow people more room for social distancing, outdoor dining and to walk more freely within the increased space.”
“Long Beach is reopening our economy and we are committed to helping businesses do so safely by offering additional space outdoors,” Mayor Robert Garcia said, announcing the city’s new Open Streets Initiative.
Those looking to eat and drink outdoors will find it especially easy in Long Beach, where the new program—which runs through October 31—closes off select neighborhood streets from 9am to 5pm, as well as limits traffic on larger commercial streets, and is specifically designed to help restaurants and shops and to get people moving outdoors. You can find a map of Long Beach’s street closures, new dining parklets, converted traffic lanes and proposed spaces here. Restaurants interested in participating in the program can fill out the online interest form.
“Commercial corridor closures support opportunities for outdoor business activity, such as dining, to spur economic recovery,” the city announced in a news release. “Street closures also focus on sustainability, efficiency and alternative transportation modalities, which are intended to reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions while also prioritizing and promoting healthy living opportunities.”
Want to dine on one of the biggest streets in the City of Roses? Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard began its transformation over the weekend, and it has a number of partial street closures to follow.
The north and south curb lanes on Colorado Boulevard between Madison and El Molino Avenues were converted to outdoor seating on Saturday, as was the south curb lane on Colorado between Fair Oaks and Raymond Avenues; they both allow one lane of traffic in each direction and parking spaces for curbside pickup. In addition, the city has converted both curb lanes on Colorado between El Molino and Oak Knoll Avenues by the city’s Sweetgreen, Tender Greens and Urth Caffé outposts.
Before July 25, we can also expect lane closures for dining at Colorado Boulevard between Oak Knoll and Hudson Avenues (along the south curb only); Green Street between Pasadena and De Lacey Avenues (along the north curb/half block); Green Street between De Lacey and Raymond Avenues (along the south curb); Colorado Boulevard between Fair Oaks and Raymond Avenues (along the north curb); and Colorado Boulevard between Raymond Avenue and Arroyo Parkway (along the north curb). We also spotted a lane closure on the north side of Union Street, between Raymond and Fair Oaks Avenues near Union and the Blind Donkey, though outdoor seating had yet to be put in place.
Restaurants who’d like to participate in the program can apply for the Temporary On-Street Dining permit.
A charming stretch of Old Town Torrance is blocking off one of the main drags on weekends, providing street dining for a few of our favorite restaurants. Madre—one of L.A.’s Oaxacan-food gems—is expanding to the road, as are Chado Tea Room, Red Car Brewery, Kappo Irifune and more. Sartori Avenue is closed to traffic from east of El Prado to Marcelina avenues the first three weekends of every month, now to September. Hours run 4 to 10pm on Fridays, 11am to 10pm on Saturdays, and 11am to 9pm on Sundays.
The fourth weekend of the month is reserved for the city’s usual Torrance Antique Street Faire.
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