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Outdoor dining on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach extended by commissioners

Virus Outbreak Florida
An outdoor table is ready for customers at Loretta and the Butcher restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in the Coconut Grove neighborhood in Miami. Restaurants continue to offer outdoor dining and take-out only, with indoor dining still not permitted in Miami-Dade County. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Many businesses are hopeful extended dining will be made permanent.

A big change in Delray Beach was allowing businesses to use more outdoor space.

Over the Bridge Café is one of the many restaurants that was allowed to extend it’s dining outside.

“We got another 50 seats almost that were able to add to the restaurant that we didn’t have during the beginning part of COVID-19,” owner Dan Newman said.

Newman says those added seats are what helped him keep his business open through the pandemic.

City commissioners Tuesday approved a renewal with Florida Department of Transportation to keep tables on Atlantic Avenue.

They’ll still have to decide if they will let restaurants keep the added outdoor space after September.

Laura Simon, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said most places have relied on the extra space.

Simon said many businesses are hopeful it can become a more permanent option.