By CBSLA Staff

LONG BEACH (CBSLA) — Pine Avenue partially reopened Friday after being closed to vehicles for the past nine months so restaurants could expand their dining rooms outside.

(credit: CBS)

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However, there is a debate over whether outdoor dining that was put in place in response to the pandemic should stay or go.

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Several cities throughout Southern California closed streets so that struggling restaurants could expand their on-site dining outside during the pandemic. But now that the state has fully reopened thanks to slowing COVID-19 cases and rising vaccinations, Long Beach city officials want to reopen Pine Avenue to traffic.

Restaurant owners, however, are ambivalent about returning Pine Avenue to business as usual. They say not only has outdoor dining been a lifesaver, many diners still prefer it at this time.

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A full reopening of Pine Avenue is planned for June 30.