Bayside Skillet tent-1.JPG

A 20- by 60-foot tent setup at the Bayside Skillet on 77th street is allowed to remain in place seasonally from April to October for the next three years following recent approval from members of the city’s board of zoning appeals.

 Outdoor seating available April through October

Still riding on the coattails of pandemic adjustments, the owners of the Bayside Skillet have opted to make an outdoor dining tent a permanent structure for the season.

When the pandemic hit, restaurant and bar owners across the resort, country and the world tapped into the benefits of offering outdoor seating to patrons. Temporary tents and open air space allowed establishments to continue operating by providing safer venues to circulate air and spread out customers

And when covid waned and indoor seating came back, numerous owners and managers introduced hybrid indoor and outdoor dining and drinking spaces, many of which became permanent. The Bayside Skillet on 77th Street was one of them.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, co-owner Sidney Zweigbaum said he set up a 20-by-60-foot tent in the parking lot for outdoor seating. He erected it again last season and last week asked members of the Board of Zoning Appeals for permission to continue the tradition annually from April to October.

Zweigbaum said during the meeting that the tent did not eliminate any necessary parking spaces and also provides a more convenient option for people who have trouble getting around.

“Whether they are handicapped or just a little less mobile than they used to be, it was a big benefit to those people because they can just walk right there,” he said. “They don’t have to go up steps, they don’t have to go up a ramp or anything.”

After issuing a requirement that one of the existing four handicap spaces is made big enough for a van, zoning board members voted unanimously to allow for setup of the tent in the restaurant’s parking lot from April to October for the next four years.

This story appears in the May 6, 2022 print edition of the OC Today.

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