By CBSLA Staff

WEST HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA) – Outdoor dining and shopping is expanding Saturday night in WeHo, with a pilot program the city is launching called “OUT on Robertson.”

N. Robertson Boulevard south of Santa Monica Boulevard and north of Melrose Avenue will be closed to traffic Saturdays and Sundays starting at 6 p.m. in order to transform the area into a pedestrian friendly zone filled with restaurants and retail shops.

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The dedicated outdoor space for shops, vendors and customers is following all COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing face masks and socially distanced restaurant seating, called for by the LA County Department of Health. However, the health departments reopening guidelines do allow for a greater number of patrons.

While WeHo establishments like The Abbey have already expanded outdoor dining to the street, officials said that more local businesses, vendors and nonprofits will be setting up booths in the area.

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“We have all these people and they can’t be indoors and there’s not enough outdoor seating,” West Hollywood City Councilman John D’Amico told CBSLA’s Rick Montanez Saturday. “We’re creating a public sphere, a free public sphere for people to come and have a great time.”

Sunday brunch at OUT on Robertson is expected to draw residents and visitors alike, and in May there are plans to start a large yoga class.

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“I think it’s a great opportunity for folks to start to be around each other in a socially distanced manner,” said Christopher Sweeten, a Saturday night patron of OUT on Robertson. “It’s great for businesses who need to be open and folks who need employment. It just allows us to interact in a very safe manner.”