MALIBU—The city of Malibu enacted a temporary Restaurant Recovery Program to help restaurants recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic on Monday, June 8 in their regular City Council meeting.

The Restaurant Recovery Program serves one main function; to allow restaurants to temporarily expand seating areas.

Dining in at restaurants was closed due to COVID-19 in early March. Restaurants were only available for pick-up and delivery.

After Los Angeles County cleared hair salons, restaurants, and barbershops to reopen on May 29, Malibu announced a parallel decision. Social distancing and public health measures were put in place to decrease transmission of COVID-19.

The Restaurant Recovery Program will allow restaurants to temporarily expand their outdoor seating area to adjacent properties or sidewalks and ensure maximum physical distancing for customers.

Restaurants can apply for free to be granted the extension of outdoor dining space, but an increase in the number of seats a restaurant can offer is not included in the program. A separate permit may be required for dining spaces for sidewalks and other public right-of-way areas.

Anything from parking lots to empty lots within 100 feet of the restaurant is eligible for an expansion of dining space. The program excludes areas that could negatively impact coastal resources or prevent coastal access.

The program also forbids new food preparation sites outside and requires restaurants to obtain a Temporary Alcohol and Beverage Control Permit to serve alcohol off-site.

When the program is terminated, businesses will have 72 hours to return to normal operations.

Assistant to the City Manager Elizabeth Shavelson said before the program was adopted:

“There is no significant fiscal impact associated with the recommended action. If the temporary restaurant recovery program is implemented, restaurants in Malibu will be able to offer more dining options than they otherwise would under Los Angeles County’s Public Health Orders which could increase the City’s sales tax revenue. The City’s Sales Tax revenue has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Stay at Home orders”

To apply for the Restaurant Recovery Program click here and to view current LA County restaurant protocols click here.