“I own a restaurant and would like to put three to four tables on the public sidewalk outside of my storefront.”

︎︎︎ DCWP “Sidewalk Cafe License”
A Sidewalk Cafe License allows a business to operate a portion of a restaurant on a public sidewalk. The three types of allowable sidewalk cafes include an Enclosed Sidewalk Cafe (enclosed area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that is constructed predominantly of light materials such as glass, plastic, or lightweight metal), an Unenclosed Sidewalk Cafe (outdoor area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that contains removable tables and chairs), and a Small Unenclosed Sidewalk cafe (no more than a single row of removable tables and chairs next to the building occupying no more than four feet and six inches of the public sidewalk). The license is granted for 24 months (or two years) and may be renewed.


︎︎︎ DOT “Open Restaurant (Sidewalk) Permit”
The temporary Open Restaurant Emergency Program, launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and slated for permanent adoption, allows food establishments to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the public sidewalk (placed up against the wall of the business or as close as possible) as long as structures are removable, do not infringe upon/impede the eight foot pedestrian clear path on the sidewalk, and do not block any right-of-way signs, street regulation signs, fire escapes, Siamese pipes or water sampling stations.

Diners at a sidewalk cafe are served lunch by a waiter. A woman looks at her phone while waiting to cross the street.
 ︎ Krisztina Papp/Unsplash