Apply for a Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit
Process for restaurants and bars to temporarily expand or introduce outdoor seating while taking prudent precautions to reduce the exposure to, and slow the spread of, COVID-19
The City of St. Louis has worked to create a streamlined process that will allow restaurants and bars to temporarily expand or introduce outdoor seating while taking prudent precautions to reduce the exposure to, and slow the spread of, COVID-19 among both staff and guests while increasing customer table seating capacity within the restaurant operating protocols.
We are encouraging establishment owners to explore three types of seating expansions.
- The Use of Private Property
- The Use of Adjacent Sidewalks
- The Use of City Streets (please call 314-589-6640 to discuss before applying)
There are no fees for the Temporary Outdoor Seating Expansion through June 30th, 2022. Fees may apply to street usage if meters are blocked.
- Determine if your establishment is able to follow the rules for temporary outdoor seating:
- Ensure your establishment is accessible to everyone and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- All food and beverage preparation must take place inside of the existing facilities. No outside bars or food preparation stations are allowed.
- Temporary Outdoor Seating Expansions shall close no later than 10 p.m. and may not open again until 9 a.m. the next day.
- The Temporary Outdoor Seating Expansion permit, once issued as a permit by the Board of Public Service, is subject to cancellation or revocation at will. As and upon such revocation, the seating expansion is to be removed at the applicant’s expense.
- The final, issued permit should be displayed and visible from the outside of the establishment for easy verification at all times.
- Must maintain a minimum of 4’ unobstructed walkway for pedestrian traffic. Encroachments shall be restricted to the sidewalk area immediately adjacent to the abutting private property.
- Usage of an existing parking lot cannot exceed ⅓ of the available parking spaces.
- Sidewalks are to be free of all defects and trip hazards.
- Determine which type of temporary outdoor seating you would like to have:
- Public sidewalk seating
- Private property seating
- Public street seating
Public Sidewalk Seating
- You must obtain a commercial occupancy permit or conditional use permit for your business's outdoor seating. For more information, contact the Building Division (314) 622-3313, 1200 Market, Room 425.
- Be prepared to provide a detailed drawing indicating the placement of tables and chairs on 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.
- Once you have the two items above, fill out the Sidewalk Cafe Application and contact the Board of Public Service (314-622-4627) to start the process.
Private Property Seating
- Prepare to provide a drawing showing the location and arrangement of your outdoor seating.
- Prepare to provide an ADA plan to ensure your establishment is accessible to everyone and is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Obtain a letter of approval from the alderperson who serves the ward where your establishment is located. Contact them for more details.
- If seating is on private property, obtain a permission letter from the property owner (landlord).
- Complete the temporary outdoor seating application in order to begin your review process.
Completed applications and documents should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Street Seating
If you wish to expand onto a public street, please contact the Office of Special Events (314-589-6640) before applying to check for feasibility. Fees may apply for blocked meters.
Fee for the sidewalk café permit shall be $200.00 plus $1.00 per square foot of sidewalk being utilized for the café, payable to the City of St. Louis at the Street Department.
There are no fees for the temporary outdoor seating permit for private property or public street. Fees may apply for blocked parking meters for public street seating.
What to Expect
Permits will be issued approximately two to four weeks after the department in question has received all the necessary materials from you.
Final permits must be displayed and visible from outside your establishment.
All temporary seating permits will expire July 1st, 2022 unless the city renews the program.
Office of Special Events
1200 Market Street,
Room 416 City Hall
St. Louis, MO 63103
8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday In-Person services: To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, essential services will be provided by phone or email only during regular business hours.
Board of Public Service
1200 Market St,
City Hall, Rm 301
St. Louis, MO 63103
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M - F