San Jose’s Al Fresco program, which has allowed restaurants and small businesses to operate outside during Covid-19 restrictions, will be extended until the end of the year.
On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved extending the program, which allows more than 130 businesses with no infrastructure or capacity for outdoor dining to use city-owned space like parking lots, streets and parks for free.
The program, established May 2020, was a way for businesses to continue operations and comply with Covid-19 health orders that prohibited or limited indoor gatherings.
“This is a way of pushing commerce outside,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “It is a good thing in many ways, and we should continue to accommodate [it] in any way we can.”
The program is still essential for participating businesses, even as Santa Clara County moves into the less-restrictive orange tier.
Under the orange tier, indoor dining at restaurants is limited to 50 percent capacity, so outdoor dining is a way for businesses to recoup some losses.
The city is still accepting and encouraging businesses to participate in the Al Fresco program. To sign up or learn more, click here.