City of Sarasota expands sidewalk cafe permits until the end of the year, in downtown parking spaces
Sarasota will allow restaurants to continue to have outdoor dining in parking spots outside their facilities without forcing anyone to pay fees until the end of this year.
However, the effort to free up city parking spaces for restaurants to expand outdoor dining will come at a cost.
By continuing to offer expanded dining to area businesses until Dec. 31, the city is expected to lose at least another $130,000 in potential parking revenue. This is on top of other losses incurred by the city since the beginning of the pandemic.
It was around this time last year, Sarasota created no-fee, temporary outdoor cafe permits and began temporary street closures to allow for expanded outdoor dining.
On Monday (5/3/21), city leaders agreed to extend the no-fee program until December 31, 2021 and gave restaurant owners permission to use tents over outdoor eating spaces. Restaurants are taking up about 36 parking spaces