The Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to extend the outdoor dining policies created during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these changes might be beneficial for your business!
What is the cost for sidewalk cafés?
Sidewalk café prices remain the same, starting at $600 and increasing based on the total size of your café. You will be prompted for payment once the city approves your application.
Can my sidewalk café extend over the neighboring business/storefront?
Yes! Businesses are able to serve diners in expanded sidewalk cafés that extend in front of a neighboring business as long as it is not an active retail food establishment or retail liquor establishment. This is the same extension that was permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. If extending along the building side of the sidewalk, applicants must submit proof that they have notified the owner and occupant of the neighboring property in writing that they intend to submit a permit application that extends in front of their property.
What if I have an existing sidewalk café but want to take advantage of the extension options to expand into the neighboring businesses sidewalk?
Businesses that wish to extend their sidewalk café must reapply for the permit with the full address range of their café, including the neighboring property. The business will only be charged an additional fee for the additional square footage added to the original café application.
Are taverns able to get sidewalk café permits again?
Yes! Any business with a valid retail food establishment license or tavern license is able to apply for a sidewalk café permit.
Can I serve alcohol at my sidewalk café?
Businesses with a valid liquor license may serve alcohol at their sidewalk café.
How do I apply for a sidewalk café permit?
Apply for your permit online on the BACP permit portal. Make sure to include the full address range if your permit will extend beyond your property line.