Palo Alto

Palo Alto Keeps Streets Closed for Outdoor Dining

Portions of University and California avenues will be closed to cars through the end of September

NBC Universal, Inc.

People can continue to dine al fresco on certain streets in Palo Alto.

The city council voted this week to keep portions of University and California avenues closed to cars through the end of September.

"I think it’s great," Alec Robertson of Palo Alto said. "It feels more European. Nice outdoor place to go and hang out. Makes it much more relaxing and enjoyable."

Laura Rodriguez, the general manager at Local Union 271 restaurant, said the street closure implemented during the pandemic allows the restaurant to serve 30% more customers.

"It helps us not only to be able to see the capacity grow, but to allow us to employ more people," Rodriguez said.

Just around the corner at The Patio, owner Megan Kawkab said she invested $65,000 in an outdoor dining area, but she says her business has taken a hit ever since University Avenue closed to cars because customers head there instead.

"I just think that it's time to get back to normal," Kawkab said. "By keeping the streets closed, while it's fun for the neighbors to ride their bikes and walk their dogs, it’s really unfair to the retail that are located up and down University Avenue and to the restaurants on the side streets that are not given a big, free area to put all their chairs and tables out and triple their occupancy."

Other cities are also making similar decisions. In Redwood City, a block of Broadway will remain closed until the end of the year. In San Mateo, a temporary street closure on South B Street will remain until at least the end of September.

Contact Us