Finally al fresco: La Jolla Shores group poised to begin outdoor dining on Avenida de la Playa on July 22
“We’re moving ahead with everything,” La Jolla Shores Association President Janie Emerson said of the group’s two-month effort to begin an outdoor dining program in The Shores.
The association announced July 14 that its proposal to close a block of Avenida de la Playa to allow restaurants to set up tables on the street will be in effect Wednesday, July 22, through Sunday, Sept. 27.
The section between El Paseo Grande and Calle de la Plata will be closed to traffic all day every day, with street dining between 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. Six or seven restaurants in the area will put dining tables on parking stalls to serve lunch and dinner, the association said, and there will be a 20-foot-wide pedestrian walkway down the center of Avenida de la Playa.
The program aims to aid social distancing measures related to the coronavirus pandemic and salvage some of the restaurants’ lost revenue resulting from the outbreak.
In its lengthy effort to get an outdoor dining program started, the La Jolla Shores Association seems to have been served another course.
LJSA board member Phil Wise, who has spearheaded much of the effort, said he is in the final stages of preparation, coordinating paperwork from the participating restaurants, securing barricades to block the streets and hiring a security guard required by the city to open the street in case emergency vehicles need access overnight.
Full-motion preparations will go into effect following a San Diego City Council vote July 14 on waiving permit application fees, a move accelerated by Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s executive order last week to forgo permitting for restaurants to provide sidewalk and parking lot dining.
That came in the wake of a state order forcing area restaurants to cease indoor dining service for at least three weeks in light of a recent spike in coronavirus cases.
After the vote, Emerson said, she will activate a liability insurance policy required by the city for the outdoor dining program and distribute fliers promoting the event.
Wise said he plans to set out cones early July 22 and start sweeping the street so restaurants can set up. “By 11 o’clock, the restaurants will go to work,” he said.
LJSA is seeking donations so it can buy planters “to dress this up,” as well as fund other related expenses, Emerson said. If interested in donating, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the outdoor dining program opens on the 22nd, Emerson said, “we can pop the champagne!” ◆
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