THE Cally part-owner Lucas Reid has considered serving people at tables along the footpath of his pub, but Warrnambool's weather dampened the idea.
Now as COVID-19 restricts indoor dining, state and local government support has helped that idea potentially come to life with plans for outdoor dining suitable for rain or shine.
"It's enclosed dining, it will have heat and quality furniture and it will be in keeping with the architecture of our building" Mr Reid said.
The Cally Hotel is among 15 businesses to make city council applications to extend or introduce new outdoor dining in Warrnambool this summer, with approvals still in process.
The council has also waived or refunded 38 existing outdoor dining permit fees.
Mr Reid said the plan would mean seating up to 40 people along the pub's Fairy Street kerbside.
"It was something we were going to look at down the track, but the weather is a factor, so we need to ensure the design is right," he said.
He said the council had been forthcoming and helpful in his application and he was awaiting clarification on potential savings from grants.
"There has been site visits. Speed is of the essence so we can get it done quickly, local laws guys came from planning and had the documents, we have gotten feedback from planning in less than a week," Mr Reid said.
A council spokesman said while the council has waived permit fees, outdoor dining permit conditions still applied and businesses would have to cover their own insurance but could apply for state government grants for assistance.
Moyne Shire Council this month granted permits to 15 businesses. Chief executive officer Bill Millard said the council had covered the businesses' insurance, adding them to a council community liability policy at no additional cost.
Warrnambool's Tilly Divine owner Rachael Street said she was considering opportunities for outdoor dining at her Liebig Street eatery and bar.
"I am hoping the council would be very open to ideas. And maybe they would reconsider covering the insurance costs as Moyne Shire has," she said.
She said weather could be an issue and hoped to use footpath closer the restaurant when it rained.
"It would be good to have the option to have tables and chairs on either side of the footpath but still allow room for pedestrians," Ms Street said.
"So if it's raining you can move your tables out the front of the shop on the window side."
Glenn Scott, who owns Koroit Street's Daily Grain with wife Donna, said he was also looking into outdoor dining options.
"It affects different people in different ways," he said. "Ideally what we need is we need to have more people inside able to eat."
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