Catalina ConnectionNewsletter

Beach Dining to Resume in Avalon

AVALON—Avalon has authorized the resumption of outdoor dining on city beaches and certain public right of way spaces under the same guidelines that were already outlined and approved by the City Council on July 7, 2020.

Avalon city staff gave the City Council an update on the outdoor dining program at the city council meeting on Feb. 2. Go. Gavin Newsom lifted stay-at-home orders on Jan. 25, and Los Angeles County lifted restrictions on outdoor dining on Jan. 30. New guidelines from the county will require tables to be spaced 8 feet from one another. The outdoor dining program will remain in effect until March 16 or until unrestricted indoor dining is permitted, whichever happens first.

The City Council first authorized temporary use of beaches and areas of the public right of way for outdoor dining in response to statewide restrictions on indoor dining issued on July 1, 2020. Avalon’s beach dining shut down after a county public health order restricted outdoor dining on Nov. 25, 2020.

City staff worked closely with restaurateurs to develop a permitting process, implement procedures, and mitigate lighting and heating issues related to outdoor dining. The guidelines allow permitted restaurants to set up tables and chairs on the upper sandy beach areas nightly beginning at 5 p.m., with all areas cleared by 11 p.m. The guidelines also allow restaurants to set up food booths for fast pick-up in the area behind the fountain, however, no restaurant has taken advantage of this option to date.

So far, nine restaurants have utilized the city’s outdoor dining program — Catalina Cantina, Coyote Joe’s, El Galleon, Luau Larry’s, The M, Maggie’s Blue Rose, Mi Casitas, Steve’s Steakhouse, and NDMK Seafood. It is unclear at this point which restaurants plan to participate in beach dining this go around.

Mayor Anni Marshall had also requested the city install picnic tables at the beach “parks” to accommodate individuals with takeout orders. However, city staff said no funding is budgeted to procure tables or cleaning supplies and no city staff is available to install, sanitize or maintain tables. Ultimately, the council decided on Feb. 2 not to move forward with picnic tables at this time.

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