VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - People on Venice Avenue enjoying this beautiful Friday. For restaurants here they have extra reason to be happy, especially Daria Nafziger, owner of Ciao Gelato. Venice City Council giving the green light to allow her and others to expand their outside dining area on the sidewalk.
“We only have seating capacity for six on the inside, so if we could add a couple extra tables that’s great," said Nafziger. Our neigbors right here have given us permission to set up tables in front of their location.”
Restaurants can now set up tables and seats in front of neighboring businesses as long as they get permission. They also are required to maintain a six-foot wide pedestrian walkway.
“Anything we can do to help any of our merchants, restaurants or otherwise is going to be to our advantage, as we try to reopen in a safe way," said Ron Feinsod, Mayor of the city of Venice. "And whether they are merchants on the island or off the island, it’s really important we look for ways to help all of them.”
City council shot down the idea of closing down the street for outdoor dining, so the mayor says they went with the next best thing. Restaurants are still only allowed 50 percent capacity for indoor dining. It’s been a rough couple of months for Luca Cassani and his Cassariano Italian Eatery business. He tells ABC7, expanding his outdoor dining business will be a big help.
“I feel good, obviously because my business would benefit completely," said Cassani. "I think it’s a great idea, I think especially for now it’s a good idea, it will benefit every other business I believe.”