Manhattan Beach Approves Outdoor Dining With the Help of Michael Zislis

Dine in the Streets of Manhattan Beach

Written By: Taylor Gorski 
Photographed By: Patrick Record Photography Manhattan Beach Outdoor Dining

The Manhattan Beach City Council has approved outdoor dining. Businesses and restaurants are permitted to use public parking spaces and other public right-of-way spots for dining purposes, while following some requirements. The idea was spearheaded by Michael Zislis, owner of popular South Bay restaurants and hotels including Rock’N Fish, The Strand House, Shade Hotels, BREWCO and more. “I was thinking with COVID that restaurants were going to be at this lower capacity. I thought if people could dine outside in the parking spaces, it would be an incredible idea,” Zislis explains. Restaurants are currently limited to a 60% capacity for dining in. 

Zislis formulated his idea into a plan and sent it out to council members. “My brother said, ‘They will never let you dine on the streets, and you’ll never be able to drink alcohol on the streets!’” Zislis says. Well, the city council and Manhattan Beach loved the idea and wanted to expand it citywide. They put it on the agenda, voted on it a couple of weeks later and approved it. 

Decks, platforms and other barriers for safety and health measures are required for businesses participating in outdoor dining. “It was a big effort from all of the local restaurants. We all worked together and pulled it off. It’s the best feeling in the world!” exclaims Zislis. 

The city took a survey of the public’s view of outdoor dining, and more than 93% of residents were supportive of the idea. 

“Our council really understands how devastated restaurants are from COVID. It’s just so scary for everyone and the city. This government really understood how to help the community,” says Zislis. 

Most outdoor dining spots will open up Friday, June 19, so whether you’re planning Father’s Day or want to enjoy the SoCal summer weather and an ocean view, make your way down to Manhattan Beach! As of now, these outdoor dining opportunities are approved until the end of September. 

Zislis Group

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Taylor is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a degree in journalism. She is our Los Angeles and Orange County editor. You can find her dining at a new restaurant, in the ocean or planning her next adventure. Say hello!

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