City Council passes legislation to extend outdoor dining and retail permits

In February 2022 Pittsburgh City Council extended outdoor dining and retail permit options. City Council unanimously approved making outdoor dining in public right-of-ways, like sidewalks and in the street, a permanent option for businesses who successfully apply for a city permit. The legislation was introduced by 1st District Councilperson Bobby Wilson after community organizations and businesses lobbied for an extension of outdoor business permits.

Outdoor dining and retail provided a lifeline to small businesses who faced indoor access restrictions during the pandemic. Not only did the pop-up outdoor retail and eatery options create a safer way to go out and support local businesses, but they also provided a new and unique experience to visitors. In some neighborhoods, more outdoor activity revitalized central business corridors.

Squirrel Hill’s bustling business district, which is full of restaurants and shops, will benefit from the extended outdoor dining and retail permit options. Maria Cohen, SHUC’S Executive Director, voiced her support for the legislation in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4: “Adding in this additional layer and bringing in more customers will only help to hopefully have businesses come out of this a little bit better than they would have.”

Local restaurants like Hidden Harbor/Independent Brewing Company and Silk Elephant took advantage of the outdoor dining option in 2021, and we hope that more of our local merchants will see these permits as a viable option to attract more customers and return to pre-COVID levels of business.

about SHUC

Preserving, Improving, and Celebrating the Quality of Life in Squirrel Hill

For over fifty years, the Coalition has been an active and important link in the community. It has served as a sounding board for new ideas, as well as a “watchdog” in the areas of public safety, education, residential quality, the business district, and parks and open space. With its focus on the quality of life in the 14th Ward, SHUC continues to monitor activities and future developments in the community through a range of standing committees.


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