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Poway Mayor Wants To Offer Picnic Tables To Restaurants For Outdoor Dining

Kaminski’s Barbecue and Sports Lounge in Poway set up tables and chairs in it...

Photo by Roland Lizarondo

Above: Kaminski’s Barbecue and Sports Lounge in Poway set up tables and chairs in its parking lots on July 7, 2020, to seat customers amid the state's order to close indoor dining to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Update 7:30 p.m. July 7, 2020

Tonight the Poway City Council unanimously approved Mayor Steve Vaus' proposal to buy picnic tables and loan them to restaurants for outdoor dining.

Vaus told council members the city had already received offers to help get the tables, including an offer from a carpenters' union to build tables.

Vaus said the vote was a "small step that could be huge" for Poway restaurants needing assistance.

Original Story:

Not long after indoor dining was shut down in March, restaurants around San Diego began focusing on take-out and delivery.

Those that could offer diners outdoor seating, taking up places where once people walked or parked cars

In Poway, Mayor Steve Vaus is proposing his city buy picnic tables and loan them to restaurants for outdoor dining.

At Kaminski’s Barbecue and Sports Lounge, diners are still enjoying meals on the patio, but co-owner Marsha Kaminski is also expanding seating into the front portion of her parking lot.

She said appreciates the picnic table idea. She just wishes the city had talked to restaurant operators first.

“I wish that maybe, and maybe they did, I don’t know, would’ve maybe talked to some of the restaurant people to maybe see what maybe they needed,” Kaminski said.

Reported by John Carroll , Video by Roland Lizarondo

If the city council approves the Mayor’s proposal, a quick glance around the inside of the restaurant would show you why Marsha Kaminski won’t be taking the city up on their offer.

RELATED: San Diego County To Halt Indoor Restaurant Service As COVID Cases Reach 17,000

“I have many tables in my restaurant and chairs that I can move outside, so it doesn’t benefit me. It may benefit other restaurants, so I won’t partake in it,” she said.

Kaminski said as she and her fellow restaurateurs move forward into whatever the latest version of normal brings, Poway’s restaurant owners and the city can and should work more closely together.

“They need us and we need them. But maybe if we work a little more together, maybe we can come up with even better solutions, potentially.”

The Poway City Council is scheduled to vote on the picnic table proposal at their Tuesday night meeting.

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John Carroll
General Assignment Reporter & Anchor

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI'm a general assignment reporter and Saturday morning radio anchor for KPBS. I love coming up with story ideas that aren't being covered elsewhere, but I'm also ready to cover the breaking news of the day. In addition, I bring you the local news headlines on Saturday mornings during NPR's Weekend Edition.

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