Johnston Town Councilor Joseph Polisena, Jr. helping restaurants get ready for their new norm

Johnston Town Councilor Joseph Polisena, Jr. is helping restaurants get back in business. If passed, his Johnston amendment will pave the wave for outdoor dining in restaurants not normally licensed to do so. His hope is the amendment can go on to help other cities and towns as well..

In looking forward to the Governor’s Phase One of getting back into business in Rhode Island, restaurants will be offered the opportunity to have outside dining before inside dining is allowed. While some restaurants are licensed for this option, not all restaurants are.

Governor Gina Raimondo announced at yesterday’s daily announcement that restaurants should start planning – now. There will be a lot of detail to pay attention to such as distanced seating, no menus, wrapped silverware, etc., but the first opportunity will come to those fortunate enough to have the outdoor option.

Polisena is encouraging restaurants to think creatively and doing his part to clear the way for restaurants to create an outdoor seating areas using, as Raimondo suggested, “parking lots and sidewalks, in some cases” – even if they are not presently licensed for outdoor spaces.

His proposed “Temporary Outdoor Expansion of Premises” amendment would grant restaurants in good standing the ability to have outdoor dining – and get back into business.

Polisena says, “I’m hopeful this will take away a roadblock for restaurant owners who have been hit particularly hard, and hope other municipalities  will follow suit” and help our restaurant industry get back in business.

The amendment will be considered on May 11th.

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