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Las Vegas approves outdoor dining, sidewalk shopping in downtown

Updated May 14, 2020 - 7:45 pm

Restaurants and retail businesses in downtown Las Vegas that are operating under the first two phases of state orders on reopening may extend operations to the sidewalk, the city said Thursday.

Outdoor dining and sidewalk sales will be temporarily allowed effective immediately, according to the city. But each business must continue to follow Nevada’s social distancing recommendations with respect to tables, chairs and other furniture, and maintain at least 6 feet from a pedestrian path at all times.

And businesses will be permitted to operate on public sidewalk areas only during their regular business hours.

City spokesman Jace Radke said that establishments will be allowed to conduct such operations through the second phase of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s reopening edict and then the city will reevaluate. The state is presently in the first phase, which went into effect Saturday.

There are additional restrictions, including on how wide the used public sidewalk frontage can be; keeping access open to fire hydrants and building entrances and exits; advertising; watering landscape; sanitation; and outdoor music.

“By allowing this temporary use, the city has foremost in mind providing business owners enhanced opportunities and the public with an orderly atmosphere devoid of any act by any person contrary to the highest community standards,” the city said in its document regulating outdoor dining and sidewalk sales.

‘We feel more comfortable’

Downtown patios and sidewalks were bustling with people eating and drinking Thursday evening.

Krairit Krairavee, owner of Siam Square on Fremont Street, said the new rule is good for business. He hopes to be able to obtain a license from the city so his customers can dine on the sidewalks in the future.

“It’s a great idea; I know people will come here for sure,” he said.

Garagiste Wine Room and Merchant on California Avenue already has a license to let customers dine on the sidewalk, co-owner Eric Prato said, and letting other businesses have that option was a good move.

In fact, customers are only allowed to eat and drink outside Garagiste. They aren’t allowed to eat inside, he said.

“I think people have been itching to have something that makes them feel comfortable,” he said.

The Garagiste’s eight outdoor tables were busy with customers. For Yanina and Ryan Allord, the reopening of the business on Thursday was welcomed.

The two downtown residents saw how activity dwindled when restaurants were only allowed to offer curbside pick-up.

“Now seeing more activity and getting to sit on the patio is nice,” she said. “We feel more comfortable in an outdoor setting.”

Visit lasvegasnevada.gov/coronavirus for more information, and contact the city’s call center at 702-229-2273 with any additional questions.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter. Contact Alex Chhith at achhith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0290. Follow @alexchhith on Twitter.

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