NASHVILLE, TENN. (WSMV) - As Nashville's restaurants maneuver the COVID-19 pandemic and city health guidelines, Metro Council unanimously passed a bill that will allow those businesses to do more with the space they already have. 

Starting now, any business operating at a reduced capacity because of COVID-19 health orders can use parking areas they own to seat more customers to promote proper social distancing. 

The bill amends a city code that will now allow restaurants holding permits to serve food and alcohol outside on sidewalks, parking areas or other rights-of-way adjacent to their property. 

The bill passed 38 to 0 during its third reading during the Metro Council meeting Tuesday night. 

The only exception is that businesses can not use handicap parking spaces to seat people. 

Restaurant owners are hopeful the bill will attract more business.

“We definitely need some sales to pick up to be able to finish the year a little bit better, said Shannon Powell, owner of Dalts American Grill.

Dalts is of one many restaurants that has taken a hard hit during the pandemic.

“We have had several clients that have been regulars for many, many years and they have not been able to get out. I think that maybe this will give them the opportunity to come out,” said Powell.

Starting now food and drinks will be able to be served up right outside restaurant’s doors.

Metro council said any restaurant operating at a reduced capacity can use parking lots, sidewalks, and other areas they own to seat more customers and promote proper social distancing.

“I have owned this restaurant for 20 years now. It started in 1980. We’re getting ready to have our 40th anniversary next month. 40 years is a long time for a restaurant. I hope to have another 10 or 20.”

These changes will stay in place until January 2021. is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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