Since the pandemic began, al fresco dining has been a life saver for local businesses and customers, and many Kensington and Chelsea roads joined the outdoor dining movement back in April 2021.
Pavilion Road, Bute Street, and Elystan Street all closed off to make room for guests to safely eat and drink outside in the spring, and remained busy throughout the summer. Now, Kensington and Chelsea council look set to grant a five-year extension for cafés and bars in the area that wish to continue alfresco dining in the warmer months.
The move comes in a bid to create a permanent café culture across west London, allowing restaurants, bars and cafés to operate outdoors in the pedestrianised streets. Currently, legislation allows this to run until September 2022, and the proposed five-year extension would begin in 2023, running between March – October each year. It can’t be permitted in the colder months due to the environmental damage of outdoor heaters.
Licenses are set to be extended for 10 years in Sloane Square, aiming to turn it into a major alfresco dining hub, but these measures are still subject to a public consultation. Pavilion Road, Elystan Road and Bute Street will also remain pedestrian-only.
Johnny Thalassites, from Kensington and Chelsea council, said: “Seeing our streets buzzing with people enjoying our world-class bars and restaurants has been a real positive during a difficult couple of years… It’s a no-brainer to keep outdoor licensing on the menu when it’s proved so popular.”
We couldn’t agree more! Keep up to date on all things Kensington and Chelsea here.