Permits, violations & licenses

Register for temporary outdoor dining

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 reopening. The license is valid until December 31, 2020.

You can apply for a:

  • Temporary Sidewalk Cafe
    • This registration allows for the daily use of the sidewalk area in front of a business for restaurant seating.
  • Temporary Streetery
    • This registration allows the conversion of adjacent curbside parking into outdoor dining or take-away food and beverage service.
  • Temporary Sidewalk Cafe Extension
    • This registration allows for the daily use of sidewalk area or conversion of curbside parking adjacent to a business for restaurant seating. The owner of the adjacent property must grant permission.
  • Temporary Platforms and Shelters
    • This registration allows for the erection or placement of platforms, tents or other structures on the sidewalk or adjacent curbside parking lot. Additional permits and approvals are required prior to erecting or placing structures.

Review the Outdoor Dining Guidelines (PDF) for complete requirements and guidance.

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 (PDF). 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 and sign an authorization form.

Insurance

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

Tax compliance

Must be current on all taxes

Changes to an Existing Outdoor Dining Registration

To make changes to an existing registration, submit the online  amendment to outdoor dining form to document changes. These changes can include the addition of a structure, the extension in front of an adjacent property or other registration changes.

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 guide 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.

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