Orange County Restaurants: Outdoor Dining Grants Available

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Main News Photo

(Orange County Patch)

Restaurants in Orange County will soon be eligible to apply for a $1,000 outdoor dining grant, according to the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

As winter arrives across Orange County towns and the weather turns cooler, outdoor dining could become problematic for restaurants not ready for the conditions. The new OC Restaurant Outdoor Dining Grant program will serve to implement or expand Orange County restaurants' outdoor dining capacity amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Nowhere has the outdoor dining in Orange County been more successful than with Laguna Beach's Promenade on Forest. Wildly successful since its inception over the summer, the fast action of the Laguna Beach City Council and Chamber of Commerce has grown into an area where visitors and residents can enjoy dining outdoors. Still, other restaurants are in need of tents, heaters, and lighting that this new grant may offer.

Over the summer, the Laguna Beach City Council voted to extend The Promenade on Forest through Jan. 31, 2021. The Promenade on Forest: Shopping, Dining, Art, and You! is an outdoor dining, display and art performance area that creates a safe and exciting pedestrian-only experience on Forest Avenue from Coast Highway to Glenneyre Street in Downtown Laguna Beach.

During Tuesday's Board Meeting, the Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported a $1 million plan authored by Vice-Chairman Andrew Do, First District, and Supervisor Don Wagner, Third District, to help Orange County restaurants expand and improve their outdoor dining as the County moves to the State's most restrictive tier.

"The pandemic has forced restaurant owners to get creative to keep their businesses open," said Vice Chairman Do. "Outdoor dining has served as a crucial tool for many restaurants across Orange County to stay afloat. As Orange County moved back to the Purple Tier yesterday, the state's most restrictive tier, this grant program will help those restaurants stay open for businesses this winter while also making sure they are adhering to California Public Health Officials' guidance to keep their customers safe."

The Restaurant Outdoor Dining Grant program, which is funded with federal CARES Act funding, will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Eligible expenses solely include tents or canopies, outside patio heaters and warmers, and outdoor lighting, such as light strings.

Purchases must be made between Nov. 16 through Dec. 23. For more information, please visit the Orange County Community Resources agency's website for more information. The application portal will go live within seven days, Do says.

City of Laguna Beach Photo: As dining returns to the outdoors amid coronavirus, restaurant owners can apply for funds for outdoor dining tents, heaters, and lighting. 

Category: Restaurants, COVID-19