As winter approaches and COVID-19 cases continue surging in Georgia, the City of Dunwoody plans to help restaurants and bars offset the costs of weather-proofing patios to extend outdoor dining and drinking through the colder months.
The Dunwoody CARES Al Fresco Grant reimbursement program assists restaurants and bars that have enforced reduced indoor seating purchase or rent items, like tents, space heaters, lighting, and extension cords, by matching “qualifying expenses” for winterizing patios and outdoor seating areas.
Dunwoody business owners must provide proof of purchase or rental of all eligible items and complete an application to receive 50-percent reimbursement from the city. Maximum reimbursement is capped at $5,000. Applicants should receive official word from City of Dunwoody on approval or denial within two weeks.
- Tents or canopies
- Exterior lighting
- Outdoor flooring
- Installation labor costs
- Outdoor space heaters/fuel
- Exterior furniture
- Barriers to deter traffic
- Electrical outlets, extension cords
In May, the Dunwoody city council voted unanimously to approve a special outdoor dining permit, allowing restaurants and bars to utilize common areas, parkings spaces, and other outside areas approved by the property owner for seating.
In addition to the special outdoor dining permit, restaurants and bars located within Dunwoody Village are also permitted to sell beer, wine, and cocktails to-go. The city designated Dunwoody Village as an open container “entertainment district” in March. Restaurants can sell to-go alcoholic beverages for off-premise consumption in clear plastic cups labeled with special stickers provided by the city.
City of Brookhaven, also just north of Atlanta, began offering a similar outdoor dining permit in April in hopes of providing restaurants and bars with safer seating alternatives to indoor dining throughout the health crisis.