Shannon's On Pine Sept. 2019

Shannon's on Pine is one of the restaurants that could benefit with the new street closure.

A portion of downtown Long Beach’s Pine Avenue will be closing to cars and opening for diners, barbers and workouts starting this weekend in an effort to help struggling businesses.

Pine Avenue will be closed between First and Third streets starting at noon on Aug. 14 so businesses can move operations outside to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, according to a release sent out by the Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA), which worked with the city on the closures as part of the Long Beach Open Streets Initiative.

According to the release, the closure is meant to increase outdoor dining, personal care services and fitness activities provided by businesses along Pine Avenue who are struggling because of restrictions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We know that operating outdoors with appropriate physical distancing is the safest way restaurants, personal care services, and gyms can operate while protecting against the spread of COVID-19,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “Closing Pine Avenue will allow businesses to safely expand their operations and we hope provide some relief from the economic impacts of this pandemic.”

To accommodate traffic, Broadway and Third Street will remain open, with westbound First Street partially open to allow access to parking garages while designated delivery zones will be established for businesses along the corridor, and temporary spaces will be created for restaurant take-out and retail curbside service.

—Richard Guzman

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