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Virginia Beach restaurant owners get an extension for outdoor dining

Virginia Beach City leaders approve the extension of outdoor dining ordinance.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Tuesday, Virginia Beach City Council members extended an ordinance allowing outdoor dining services to continue for restaurants.

Some restaurant owners explained that adapting to outdoor seating is saving their businesses.

“It’s an area we expanded into during COVID and it’s great because a lot of people don’t want to sit inside just yet," explained Waterman's Surfside Grille general manager Eric Emerson.

Emerson made sure customers came in by creating igloos in the winter season and now building a semi-permanent dining area. Emerson wanted the extension.

“I think it's great. I think that it's necessary. I think that we’re still in a recovery process and trying to find out what normal is again. It's great to have these outdoor dining areas for us to use, especially during the season," said Emerson.

The Atlantic on Pacific owner Vincent Amato explained his restaurant will be taking down their outdoor seating tent this month.

“But now that the summer is in full swing, we can get 100 percent inside. We chose to do away with our temporary tent... maybe eventually will consider putting a true-form structure out here that is more comfortable and appealing and less intrusive on our parking lot," said Amato.

But Emerson wants to try and keep his outdoor patio as a permanent addition to the restaurant.

“There’s only something to gain here. More revenue, more taxes, places to eat. It’s beautiful and as long as people do it right then I think it’s great to be able to keep it," said Emerson.

The amended and extended ordinance for outdoor seating and dining is now until October 31, 2021.