The chance for customers to drink a beer outside on a warm summer's day would help Wollongong's Five Barrel Brewing bounce back from the lockdown.
"Who the hell doesn't like to sit outside with a glass of beer in their hand on a warm day?" asked owner Phil O'Shea.
"We live in an absolutely amazing outdoor country, let's take advantage of it."
Mr O'Shea has a development application lodged with Wollongong City Council to allow al fresco seating in the small car park of the Keira Street brewery bar.
He said that, under the one person per four square metre restrictions, the indoor capacity of the bar is limited - but being able to place tables and chairs outside would be a huge advantage.
"Under these COVID rules it would literally be a doubling of our capacity," Mr O'Shea said.
"It would almost take us up to full licence capacity which would be amazing. That will allow us to recover so much quicker after such a hard, long lockdown than if we just had to have people inside."
The brewery re-opened last week and was booked out over the first weekend after lockdown. O'Shea said he'd had a lot of requests for outdoor seating for COVID safety reasons - despite the brewery not yet being able to offer that.
"There's a confidence thing as well - customers want to feel safe when they want to go out," he said.
The NSW government launched the $66 million Alfresco Restart Package last week, which included grants to expand al fresco areas and a permanent easing of rules for dining on footpaths and public spaces.
It was a move praised by Business Illawarra executive director Adam Zarth.
"The importance of outdoor dining to the recovery of our region's hospitality sector cannot be overstated, and a recent report found that during the pandemic, 75 per cent of businesses that expanded an outdoor dining offering generated at least an additional $1642 per week in revenue," Mr Zarth said.
He said the grants would be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so he encouraged Illawarra businesses to act quickly.
Mr O'Shea was happy the government was finally addressing the issue but felt it was something that should have been put into place 12 months ago.
"The writing was on the wall last year that the government needed to address this issue," he said.
"It's taken so bloody long that by the time that anyone's really wrapped their head around how to allow businesses to do this we can't take advantage of that for opening day."