By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that California will continue to allow to-go cocktails and expanded outdoor dining after COVID restrictions are lifted on June 15.

“It’s a blessing honestly,” said Arnau Robles, a restaurant employee. “The alfresco has kept us alive during the pandemic. We do have a little bit of a patio but getting an additional 60 seats outside was really huge for us and for the rest of the neighborhood.” 

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Newsom shared the announcement during a news conference and posted to Twitter saying, “The pandemic may be going away… but your to-go cocktails don’t have to! CA will now allow to-go cocktails and outdoor dining expansions to stay after we fully reopen on June 15th.”

Newsom also announced that outdoor dining expansions will continue through at least the end of the calendar year which allows restaurants and bars to use sidewalks and parking lots.

California’s restaurants help create the vibrant and diverse communities that make California the envy of the world. As the state turns to post-pandemic life, we’ll continue to adapt best practices that have helped businesses transform customer experience for the better,” said Newsom. “With new opportunities and support for businesses large and small, and the California can-do spirit that has carried us through the past year, we will come roaring back from this pandemic.

Newsom also urged local governments to facilitate outdoor dining through local zoning and programs that support and promote expanded open-air, take-out and delivery options.

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Diners at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena were toasting to the news Thursday.

“We’re just thrilled, I couldn’t be happier for myself and for all my wonderful restauranteurs in this city,” said Gale Kohl, owner of Gale’s Restaurant.

Kohl said without outdoor dining, she would not have been able to stay open through the pandemic.

She said her tent, heaters, and other associated things cost her over $100,000 and that the investment will continue to pay off because of what customers have told her.

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“We have some guests that will go inside but if they have a choice, it’s always on the patio, they like it outside, it’s safer,” she said.