Outdoor dining

Santa Monica Could Eliminate Some of Its Outdoor Dining Spaces

Santa Monica along with other cities across LA could eliminate some of their outdoor dining, which could cost workers their jobs.

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At least one city in Southern California is looking at a significant scale back on expanded outdoor dining.

The outdoor dining area for the 1212 Restaurant on the Santa Monica Promenade has been very popular but it looks like most of it is going away at the end of the month.

Workers say that it will cost jobs, as many cities struggle with keeping something that saved many restaurants.

Camilla Meneses works in the kitchen at 1212 Restaurant which says it may have to lay off dozens of workers when the city of Santa Monica forces it to eliminate most of its outdoor dinning space at the end of the month.

The restaurant's worker pleaded with the city council this week to extend the current outdoor dining on the Promenade until at least February.

But the city says many of the tables violate its fire code in a statement saying, "Dining in the fire line inhibits the fire department's ability to access businesses in the event of a fire or other emergency."

Even though the restaurant pointed out two fountains already block such access.

"We need to cut a lot of people if this goes away so we would like to keep it," said Giulio the restaurant manager.

Multiple cities are wrestling with whether to keep sidewalk dining created during the pandemic. Pasadena's program is scheduled to end this year. Beverly Hills, Culver City, and Manhattan Beach have extended their programs until the end of the year and say they are working on permanent spaces.

Los Angeles has already created a permanent program for areas like San Pedro. Santa Monica says it too is creating a permanent outdoor dining program, but for sidewalks only.

1212 says that would cripple it.

"I know they do have to make cuts and I just hope I'm not one of the people they have to cut," said Robert a restaurant worker.

Another 1212 worker told NBC4 that she's worried about her job. She's a refugee from Ukraine who sends money back to her family.

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