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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Temporary Sidewalk Cafe/Streetery License

Service overview

Qualifying businesses can register to offer outdoor dining on the sidewalk or in the adjacent curbside lane of the street. This is a temporary license to support businesses during the COVID-19 recovery.

Update: Temporary Sidewalk Cafe / Streetery Licenses are now valid through December 31, 2021. Restaurants do not have to submit another application or renew their license.

If your license allows you to extend in front of an adjacent property, you must submit an authorization of outdoor seating extension form as an amendment. This documents the neighboring property owner’s permission for the extension to continue into 2021.

You can apply for a:

  • Temporary sidewalk cafe – This license allows you to use the sidewalk area in front of a business for restaurant seating.
  • Temporary streetery – This license allows you to convert adjacent curbside parking into outdoor dining or take-away food and beverage service.
  • Temporary sidewalk cafe extension – This license allows you to use the sidewalk area or curbside parking adjacent to a business for restaurant seating. The owner of the adjacent property must grant permission.
  • Temporary platforms and shelters – This license allows you to place platforms, tents, or other structures on the sidewalk or adjacent curbside parking lot. You may need additional permits and approvals before erecting or placing structures.

Other outdoor dining options

The Department of Streets is piloting temporary street closures (PDF) for commercial activity.

Business owners can get a Zoning Permit to change the use of a private lot for a limited time.

Who

Business owners or their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Guidelines

Read the outdoor dining guidelines (PDF) and the guidelines for restaurants and mobile food vendors. Make sure that your business can comply before you apply.

Other licenses and permits

Application

Complete an application for outdoor seating in the right-of-way. A business can apply for multiple categories on a single application.

Authorization of outdoor seating extension

If you plan to extend outdoor seating in front of a property adjacent to the business, the adjacent property owner must grant authorization and the business must submit an authorization form.

Insurance

Liability insurance: $1,000,000 comprehensive general liability insurance including contractual liability insurance

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.

Where and when

Online

Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Municipal Services Building, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

There is no fee for this license.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE.

Online

1
Log in to your eCLIPSE account to apply. Upload all required documents.

Refer to the Department of Licenses and Inspection’s (L&I) how-to guides for step-by-step eCLIPSE instructions.

2
The application will go to L&I for review and approval.
3
If approved, L&I will notify the applicant.

Changes to an existing outdoor dining license

To make changes to an existing license, submit the online amendment to outdoor dining form. These changes may include:

  • Adding a structure.
  • Extending seating in front of an adjacent property.
  • Other license changes.

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