The City of Burbank Extends Parking Lot Dining Through the End of the Year

Michael Loren

The ordinance that allows Burbank restaurants to set up outdoor dining areas in their adjacent parking lots has been extended through December 31st, 2021. This ordinance that was incited by the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic helped some Burbank restaurants keep their businesses afloat and compliant during changing recommendations for safe dining. This decision could help some of Burbank's struggling restaurants hang on until pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Many of Burbank's restaurants have taken advantage of the city's ordinance allowing dining areas to spill out into parking lots and alleyways. Gindi Thai in Burbank set up a picturesque dining area in an alleyway next to the restaurant, Tequilas restaurant on Magnolia Boulevard turned the parking lot behind their restaurant into an outdoor dining area (complete with shade and televisions), Costa Azul on the corner of Buena Vista and Empire has set up white tents and folding tables in its parking lot, and restaurants all along Magnolia Boulevard have spilled out into the streets.

Personally, I think outdoor dining is festive and safe, and it should stick around after all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted. In the "media city" of the world, many Burbank residents could use a little more sun and vitamin D in their lives. And, after restaurant capacity limitations return to what they once were, if restaurant owners were to be permitted to carry on with outdoor dining, they might have the seating capacity to recoup some of their losses during the pandemic.

With about 73% of the approximately 100,000 Burbank residents now vaccinated against the coronavirus and ready to get back out in the world (safely), restaurants could potentially have a chance of getting back on their feet. And, with other employees who work in the television and film industries beginning to return to work in their Burbank offices, local restaurant business will hopefully continue to pick up as the fall returns to the media capital of the world.

The urgency ordinance that allows dining in private parking lots in Burbank could potentially be extended past December 31st, 2021 - time will tell. But, in the meanwhile, kudos to Burbank officials for making a decision to continue to support the livelihood of Burbank restaurant owners and their families. If you're a Burbank resident, I encourage you to head to a nearby restaurant and enjoy your dinner al fresco while you still can.

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Writer, dad, entrepreneur, observer, cautious optimist

Burbank, CA

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