Oahu restaurateurs can apply for a permit to extend their dining outdoors starting Monday.

The two-year pilot program is beginning after Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi signed a bill in July allowing eateries on the island to serve food to customers on sidewalks, pedestrian malls, parks and playgrounds. If the program is successful, it will become permanent.

The al fresco initiative is aimed at helping restaurants recover financially from pandemic-induced losses by attracting customers who may be uncomfortable eating inside.

Restaurants face the challenge of rising costs and welcome new ways to increase revenue and give diners a wonderful experience,” incoming chair of the Hawaii Restaurant Association Ave Kwok said in a news release. 

The Honolulu Department of Transportation Services is in charge of the new program and will issue and approve permits. Applications will be available on the agency’s website starting Monday, officials said. The permit application is $50 and, once approved, it will be valid for six months.

“I am excited that this new pilot program will support our local restaurants and our economic recovery,” Mayor Rick Blangiardi said in a news release.

The Office of Economic Revitalization also provided a video recording on its Facebook page showing how restaurants can apply for a permit.

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