By Shereen Siewert

Some Wausau tavern owners could continue to serve patrons outdoors through Dec. 31, if city officials extend a temporary measure first approved in June.

The initial proposal allowed local bars and taverns citywide to apply for temporary sidewalk cafe permits to serve alcoholic beverages in outdoor areas during the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery. Permit holders could offer outdoor service through Oct. 31.

Now, council members will consider extending that opportunity through 2020, an effort to help struggling restaurant and tavern owners hit hard by the pandemic’s effects.

During a Public Health & Safety Committee meeting Monday, Dist. 7 Alder Lisa Rasmussen recognized the permit may not be used much through the winter, but would give the green light for restaurants and taverns to continue outdoor service if the weather holds or turns back to fall-like temperatures. Several local establishments have added patio heaters to their outdoor spaces.

The matter will go before the full council during a meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 407 Grant St., Wausau.