Berkeley will fully close its streets to create giant outdoor dining rooms


Owners of the Bay Area’s restaurants agree on one thing: It’ll be damn near impossible to stay in business if their dining room capacity is cut. While California’s guidelines for restaurant reopening don’t specify a specific slash in capacity, they do require social distancing measures between patrons and workers, which means that to make enough money to remain afloat, restaurants need way more space to serve diners.

In response, officials across the Bay Area have discussed taking over street space for restaurant use — and now, Berkeley has put that discussion into action, as today it introduced legislation to fully close many of the city’s streets, repurposing them as seating areas for the city’s vibrant restaurant scene.

See also: Lithuanian capital to be turned into vast open-air cafe.

Makes me wonder, is this a temporary adjustment, or more of a seismic shift in thinking that will stay for the long haul?