PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — New regulations for outdoor dining areas in Philadelphia were enacted by the city on Wednesday.
During the pandemic and beyond, Philadelphia’s outdoor “street shops” have served as a revenue stream for hundreds of restaurants.
Spoonie O’Neal at his namesake pub on South 3rd Street was no exception.
“It’s been tremendously, tremendously good for us. People love to be out here,” O’Neal said.
But now he thinks he needs to take his off.
He used tents for cover.
But the new regulations are very clear that this is not allowed.
“It doesn’t look business friendly to us. It looks like we’re going to have to scrap everything and start over,” O’Neal said.
It’s just one example where we’ve seen road series no longer meet the new standards.
Cotoletta Fitler Square converted a shipping container. That’s no longer allowed.
The regulations also state that streeteries must have a 30-foot buffer zone from the corner at certain intersections. But there are many in the city that clearly need to be moved.
Even heaters with propane gas must go.
“Maybe if a streetery had a track record of a lot of falls or a lot of problems, ok great then look at that. But we didn’t have any incidents at all,” O’Neal said.
But not everyone thinks like O’Neal.
Ben Fileccia of the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association says the original regulations proposed earlier this year would have made it almost impossible for restaurants to operate a street.
“The original regulations called for bail of $60,000. They made this zero dollar bond. Any bad weather, you would have to remove your structure within 24 hours,” Fileccia said.
But he also knows that some restaurants will be hurt, and he’s hoping to somehow fix those problems.
Many restaurants we spoke to say they weren’t even aware new regulations were in place.
For restaurants wanting to know what is and isn’t allowed, there are two future webinar sessions being hosted by the city: one on October 31 at 9:30 a.m. and another on November 21 at 10:30 a.m
While the regulations go into effect immediately, restaurant owners have some time to consider the options available to them, prepare the necessary documents, submit applications and remove existing streetery facilities that do not comply with the regulations.
“It is imperative to the safety of our residents and visitors that sooner or later businesses make any necessary adjustments to existing structures and facilities,” said Ralph DiPietro, the department’s commissioner for licenses and inspections. “Compliance is key to continued access to outdoor dining experiences. City authorities will support companies in this process.”
Click here to learn more about the new regulations.
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https://6abc.com/philadelphia-outdoor-dining-new-regulations-streetery-rules-licenses-and-inspections/12348440/ Philadelphia drops new regulations on streeteries: Here’s what you should know