Fresno's outdoor dining options are expanding

FRESNO, California

Spring is in the air. At Papi's Mexican Grill in Northeast Fresno, the newly built fence is up and the tables are ready for outdoor diners.

"Fresno is a city where residents like to eat outside," said Raul Gutierrez. "The weather is perfect for outside dining."

Gutierrez is owner of Papi's Mexican Grill. He says he spent more 100 days and nearly $3,000.00 trying to get the space and permits approved for his additional seating.

Now other businesses will be able to expand faster and for around $100.00 due to a recent amendment to the city's code to streamline the process.

Downtown Revitalization Manager Elliott Balch said, "It's a measure to try and be more business friendly throughout the city. And in particular with our restaurants this is an easy way for our restaurants to add more square footage, serve more customers with very little cost and liven up our sidewalks."

Businesses in Downtown Fresno are excited about the new changes. They're hoping it brings more people to wine and dine in along the Fulton Mall.

Peeve's Public House and Local Market is one of those businesses that is ready to bring out the tables. Employees are hoping the future new dining option will give people a big city experience, right here in Fresno.

"We can have up to 49 seats and so its going to be separated into two different spots," said H Steele. "We're going to have live music out here, wine tasting and stuff like that. Really nice spring, summer themed events."

And with warmer temperatures, advocates say they believe this is a perfect time for restaurants to embrace the change.

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