L.A. Al Fresco aims to help local businesses reopen safely, and allow customers and employees to maintain physical distancing, by temporarily relaxing the rules that regulate outdoor dining.
On May 29, Mayor Garcetti launched the first phase of L.A. Al Fresco to support outdoor dining opportunities for restaurants hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, in coordination with the L.A. County Department of Public Health allowing dine-in service at restaurants. Through L.A. Al Fresco Phase 1, the City is offering streamlined, immediate approval for eligible businesses to provide outdoor seating in the following areas:
- Private Parking Lots
Through Phase 2, launched on June 26, the City is offering streamlined approval for outdoor dining in the following areas:
- Street Parking Spaces (Parklets)
- Lane Closures
- Street Closures
In this new stage of this effort, 55% of program resources will be directed to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) businesses or located in areas that have experienced disproportionate job loss due to COVID-19.
Notice: L.A. Al Fresco is still taking applications for parklets and street closures in the month of December even though outdoor dining is not currently allowed. LADOT will continue installing parklets and street closures during this time to prepare for when outdoor dining resumes.
Watch this webinar to learn more about LA Al Fresco.
For guidelines and protocols, please visit this page.
What is L.A. Al Fresco?
L.A. Al Fresco is a temporary program that streamlines requirements and approvals across multiple City departments for outdoor dining on sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. The program aims to help local businesses reopen while allowing customers and employees to maintain the physical distance recommended by public health officials by temporarily relaxing the rules that regulate outdoor dining.
Who can apply?
The program will be available to all restaurants and permitted sidewalk food vendors and food trucks in the City of Los Angeles.
What options are available?
L.A. Al Fresco options currently include different types of public and private space that may be used for outdoor dining during the COVID-19 emergency:
- Private parking lots and other outdoor spaces on restaurant property
- Street Parking Spaces (Parklets)
- Lane Closures
- Street Closures
How soon after applying will I be able to use the space?
Upon application, eligible applicants will immediately receive approval for sidewalks and private property. LADOT will review applications for curbside dining areas, lane closures, and street closures and respond to the applicant as soon as possible. Please visit ladot.lacity.org/coronavirus/
How long will the program last?
Permits issued between May 29 and August 20 had an expiration date of September 1, 2020. As of August 21, the Mayor extended the L.A. Al Fresco program until December 31, 2020. Additional extensions will be granted throughout the duration of the Mayor’s Safer L.A. Order at no cost and with no limit on renewals. You can learn more about the stages of our response and recovery at Coronavirus.LACity.org/SaferLA.
How do I acquire a permit with the new program expiration date?
If you already have an L.A. Al Fresco Permit, you do not need to re-apply for a permit. You can access your new extended permit by logging into the L.A. Al Fresco Portal, opening your existing application, and clicking “Download Your Document.” You must print and post the permit with the new expiration date. If you are unable to access your existing permit, you can re-apply for a new permit, which will automatically include the expiration date of December 31, 2020.
What are the requirements/responsibilities for the restaurants?
Businesses will need to provide their own tables and chairs. For parklet and lane or street closures, the City will provide free traffic control equipment (barricades, planters, bollards) and shade umbrellas where needed, prioritizing impacted/BIPOC communities. Parklet, lane, and street closure applicants may also have access to pro bono architecture and landscape design services. Additional information on the specific requirements and responsibilities of restaurants is available in the application for the temporary allowance. Moreover, restaurants will be required to post their temporary allowance certificates for viewing by the general public.
Will restaurants be able to serve alcohol?
Yes, restaurants with existing alcohol permits will be allowed to serve alcohol within the approved area, subject to approval from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and compliance with a list of standard conditions from the Department of City Planning.
Are shade structures and canopies allowed?
Shade structures and canopies are allowed but should not have more than one vertical side and should not exceed 700 square feet in size. Full enclosures are prohibited. Shade structures and canopies larger than 700 square feet require permits from the Los Angeles Fire and Building and Safety Departments.
- Exception: The aggregate area of multiple canopies placed side by side with a fire break clearance of 12 feet between each canopy may exceed 700 square feet total without requiring permits.
- For additional guidelines and to apply for a permit please visit: www.lafd.org
Are heaters allowed?
Electric and propane heaters are allowed to be used on private property and in the public right-of-way. A permit from LADBS or LAFD is not required for their use so long as restaurants observe the below code and safety requirements:
Electric Heaters (Cord Connected):
- Electric heaters must be a certified piece of equipment and the authorized L.A. Al Fresco permit holders must follow manufacturer listed specifications for use of the heater.
- Electric heaters that are listed and certified by a recognized testing laboratory are allowed underneath umbrellas, awnings, canopies, and roofs. Please note, electric heaters must be used in accordance with their listings. A product’s listing and certification can be verified by reviewing the label adhered to the product itself.
- Electric heaters must be plugged into a properly installed outlet. Code requirements do not allow electrical heaters to be powered by an extension cord. Therefore, electric heaters work best in outdoor dining areas that sit directly adjacent to a building.
- Cords should be covered by ADA compliant cord protection ramps in order to mitigate trip hazards.
- It is recommended that electric heaters be placed at least 5 feet from combustible materials and must be situated at least one foot from fencing.
Open Flame and Propane Heaters (Stand-Alone):
- Stand-alone open flame and propane heaters should not be placed beneath any type of cover including umbrellas, awnings, canopies, roofs, etc.
- Stand-alone open flame and propane heaters should be placed at least 5 feet from buildings, exits, tents, and any combustibles (including fencing materials).
How can I report a business that is not complying with safety standards?
If you see a business operating in violation of the L.A. Al Fresco rules and without proper physical distancing, please call 311.