Downtown Napa restaurants who have set up tables on a one-block stretch of Main Street during the coronavirus pandemic will be able to continue their alfresco service through this year and into the next.
Temporary permits allowing eateries to offer outdoor service will stay in effect through Feb. 28, 2022, City Manager Steve Potter announced during the City Council meeting Tuesday night. The decision continues the emergency program Napa created in August, when it closed Main Street between Second and Third streets to create replacement dining areas after state orders shut down indoor dining and other business activities to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The extension of outdoor dining to the cusp of next spring will give Napa time to prepare its transition to post-pandemic rules, including whether and how to continue the Main Street closure and outdoor dining program. Maintaining open-air spaces to create safer distancing for patrons should hasten the recovery of businesses battered by closures and revenue losses, and allow more employees to be rehired faster, Potter told council members.
Business owners and council members threw their support behind Main Street’s conversion into a dining and walking promenade soon after the street was cordoned off Aug. 7.
“The restaurants need the extra seating, and the community seems to love the look and feel of it,” Craig Smith, executive director of the Downtown Napa Association, said after the program’s first weekend.
Permit waivers allowing more outdoor dining will stay in place in Yountville for another year.
Dining activity on the Main Street promenade has endured through a winter season that included another dining shutdown after a spike in coronavirus case over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays sent Napa County to the purple tier of California’s four-level scale of viral spread. A falling infection rate has enabled the county to rise two steps to the orange level, allowing restaurants to reopen indoor dining areas at partial capacity.
Napa is not alone in the county in recently extending outdoor dining permits well into the next year. On April 6, the Yountville Town Council approved a continuation of temporary dining and retail permits on walkways, lawns and patios to the end of June 2022, even if businesses are cleared to return to full indoor capacity before then.
Napa County remains firmly in the orange tier but is looking ahead to June 15, when the state is to "fully reopen" its economy.
California officials have outlined the goal of a full economic reopening June 15, citing lower COVID-19 infection rates and a wide roll-out of vaccines.
Elsewhere in the county, St. Helena in late October created a downtown pop-up park by closing a stretch of Hunt Avenue to provide an outdoor dining area while COVID-19 restrictions barred restaurants from serving customers indoors. The city later removed the Hunt Avenue Hub and in March authorized a new parklet between Money Way and Oak Avenue.
Catch up on Napa County's top news stories
In case you missed it, here is a look at the most-read stories on NapaValleyRegister.com.
Napa County is considering a one-acre development limit for new homes allowed amid the agricultural preserve, a move to help protect prime Nap…
This formerly uninhabitable south Napa home is about to be flipped, and at a big price hike, but will buyers respond?
A perfect storm of ride-share services, a global pandemic, wildfire risk and shifts in clientele have resulted in rising prices and limited av…
It is a busy year for Len Ramirez whose ability to find, capture and humanely transfer rattlesnakes snakes to wilderness locations has garnere…
Jean-Charles Boisset and Gina Gallo-Boisset have acquired the Ink House south of St. Helena
Meadowood resort in Napa Valley is working with county supervisors on a plan to recover from the 2020 Glass Fire.
Going Upstage: Napa native takes over longtime local staging business with big plans.
Owners of Aetna Springs are proposing a luxury camping resort for Turkey Hill in Pope Valley.
Wine seltzers are of the newest players in the booming RTD (ready-to-drink) market, with wine groups like Duckhorn getting in on the innovation.
Napan Michael Patland continues to mourn the loss of his brother in a DUI crash while the man responsible faces his sentencing for his crime.
You can reach Howard Yune at 530-763-2266 or firstname.lastname@example.org