Bills currently before each Maryland legislative house might allow restaurants in the state to keep their unscreened doors and windows open.
According to a report in the Gazette, the bills would give local health departments discretion to allow restaurants to open unscreened doors and windows. Currently, restaurants have to keep unscreened doors and windows closed, per health department regulations.
Restaurateurs say that keeping their windows closed has a negative impact on temperature and atmosphere, particularly during the summer months.
The current groundswell began in 2010, when the Montgomery County Health Department delayed the opening of the American Tap Room location in Bethesda until screens were installed over the restaurant's windows.
The bills are currently in committee in both the House of Delegates and Senate. It is unclear if they will pass before the state legislature adjourns April 9.