SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — Solana Beach approved an outdoor dining extension through the end of 2023.

The pandemic-ignited practice was many restaurants saving grace during the pandemic.

“With the outdoor dining, it allowed us to survive, actually, it was a very difficult time for all the restaurants in town,” said Brad Evarts, the owner of Alce 101, a Kitchen + Tequileria off Highway 101 in Solana Beach.

Evarts was able to expand the restaurant’s outdoor dining and double the amount of people they can seat at one time.

“The only reason we still exist is because of the outdoor dining permit,” Homestead owner Marie Brawn said. “We have turned into this little neighborhood piazza and we have this back and the front as well.”

Homestead now has two outdoor dining areas, one directly in front of the storefront in the Village on S. Cedros Ave and another in front of the Temecula Olive Oil Company on Cedros.

“We’ve taken a bad situation and seen that we can turn it into something good,” Solana Beach Mayor Lesa Heebner said.

Heebner, restaurant owners and diners are glad to see outdoor dining remain.

“Right now we have guests that still come to the restaurant and are concerned about COVID,” Evarts said.

Heebner said the extension of the temporary use permit allows the outdoor dining practice through the end of 2023, but city leaders are working on a plan to allow this permanently.

According to Solana Beach City Documents, 13 business are offering outdoor dining including Pizza Port, Saddle Bar, Pillbox Tavern, Alce 101, Naked Café, Claire’s, Homestead, Fish Market, Carruth Cellars, Lofty Coffee, Crust, Parioli’s and T’s Café.