SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Street patios and alcohol to go could be a pandemic souvenir that’s here to stay.

Sacramento city leaders are working on new ordinances that would make this transition permanent.

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Parklets started as a way to simply survive the pandemic when people couldn’t sit inside. Now, they’re bringing in big business.

“They’ve not only brought in more guests, but they have more comfortable seating options,” said Stacey Meltz, the general manager of Big Stump Brewing Company.

Meltz said the patios are directly responsible for not just surviving the pandemic, but a surge in sales.

“By having more guests, it created more jobs,” she said.

City leaders are noticing.

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Emilie Cameron with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership said she’s fielding calls from potential investors with a very specific request.

“I’m hearing ‘Make sure there’s a patio or room to add outdoor dining,’ so it’s definitely something we are seeing as a trend that won’t go away,” she said.

The Sacramento City Council has already extended the street patio seating until the summer of next year, but staff are drafting a more comprehensive plan that would make street patios permanent program within the city. It’s possible entire streets could stay closed.

“Some of the public spaces like 20th Street for example are being considered for a more permanent or a much longer-term closure,” said Emily Baime Michaels, executive director of the Midtown Association.

However, permanently serving alcohol on the patios, or serving it to go, is a change that would require new legislation. A spokesperson for Alcoholic Beverage Control says lawmakers are already working on it and have proposed several bills.

They’re taking lessons from a pandemic, and turning them into the future

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“It definitely made everyone think on their toes and pivot in directions they never thought they would,” Meltz said