*** Guidelines for Outdoor Dining in Cooler Weather – Criteria & Acceptable Coverings ***

Updated September 18, 2020 

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP)  has just announced criteria for outdoor dining and acceptable coverings.  Please read the rules here.

Specifically, please note the following guidelines:

  • Temporary structures that fit multiple parties must have at least 50% of the sides open to be considered outdoors
  • Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, may be used for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation
  • Temporary structures must be weighted, anchored or secured to the ground, but cannot be anchored with any method that requires screwing, cutting or drilling into the public way (i.e. on streets or sidewalks)
  • Electrically powered heating devices are permitted in open or enclosed areas
  • Natural gas heaters or any device fueled by propane are only permitted in open, uncovered areas

Tenting guidelines can be found here.

Fall and Winter COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Guidance

Sidewalk Cafe and Expansion Permits

The sidewalk café reform ordinance announced June 17, 2020 includes the following provisions:

  • 75% permit fee reduction
  • Ability to extend sidewalk cafés in front of a neighboring property
  • Expedited permit issuance process

Click here for more information.  BACP has issued an updated FAQ on the process for an extended sidewalk café permit.

  • Click here for the City of Chicago’s Expanded Outdoor Dining and Sidewalk Cafe Permits
  • Click here for the City of Chicago’s Outdoor Dining and Drinking FAQ for Phase 3
  • Click here for a review of applying for a sidewalk cafe permit from BACP
  • Click here for full outdoor dining guidelines for Phase 3
  • Click here for more information about the Dine Out on Broadway program
  • Click here for a comprehensive list of Wrigleyville restaurants open for patio and outdoor dining

For assistance with Expanded Outdoor Dining permits, please email us to schedule an appointment at info@lakevieweast.com.

Expanded Outdoor Dining for Bars, Taverns, & Breweries Without a Retail Food License

Due to the recent rise in community cases of COVID-19, the City of Chicago has reinstated certain restrictions for businesses, including the closure of indoor service for bars, taverns, breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol without a retail food license.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot along with Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareño and Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) Commissioner Gia Biagi announced an expansion of its Outdoor Dining Program that has already allowed over 250 bars and restaurants throughout the city to operate outdoors during the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

As part of this effort to support Chicago’s businesses, the City announced new reforms to the Expanded Outdoor Dining Program that will make it easier for bars, taverns and breweries affected by the latest rollback of the reopening guidelines to operate outdoors.

Effective immediately, individual establishments that serve alcohol without a Retail Food License may apply to use this program to temporarily operate on the sidewalk in front of their establishment, and all restaurants and bars may use the permit in outdoor areas that would typically require an Outdoor Patio License.

To learn more about the Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit and to apply, please click here.