Outdoor dining ban in Temple Bar
Restaurants and cafes in Temple Bar, Dublin, have been hit with an outdoor dining ban in the run-up to Christmas, despite being permitted to put tables and chairs on the street just three months ago.
While businesses in the area around Grafton Street have been encouraged by Dublin City Council to use the street for outdoor dining, Temple Bar traders have been denied street furniture licences, despite being in a pedestrian area.
Martin Harte, chief executive of business representative group Temple Bar Company, said the decision was “ludicrous” and “bizarre” and contrary to public health advice.
In September cafes and restaurants in the Temple Bar pedestrian zone, which runs from Eustace Street at the Norseman pub to Temple Bar Square, were permitted to put tables and chairs outdoors.
However, following the lifting of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions, the council has said the furniture cannot return.
“We have spent months ensuring that the area became an enforced pedestrian area for the very purpose of having outdoor dining,” he said. “We also got 200 chairs and 100 tables, which we distributed to our members to assist them to reopen safely and in line with public health advice.”
The council said it had allowed the street furniture in September, “as other businesses in the vicinity were closed and the council was under pressure to assist businesses in remaining open”.
However, it said having assessed the situation, and taken into account the concerns of Dublin Fire Brigade regarding emergency access and restricted means of escape from premises, “the applications could not be formally approved”.
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