Sidewalk Cafes contribute to the vitality of the neighborhood, and strongly encourages restaurants and cafes to make the investment. Restaurant owners have reported that it is a key driver of revenue that helps overcome the winter doldrums.
Applications for the Sidewalk Cafe Program will be available mid-January. The Sidewalk Cafe season begins on March 1 and ends on Dec. 1. Sidewalk Cafe Permits have a nine-month term, and must be applied for, and issued, every year. Businesses with a valid Retail Food Establishment License may apply for a Sidewalk Cafe Permit to serve food outside their restaurant on city sidewalks. Applicants intending to serve liquor at a Sidewalk Cafe must have a valid Liquor License pursuant to Chapter 4-60 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago.
Completed applications may be submitted via mail, or in person, to the Small Business Center in City Hall, Room 800, 121 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60602.
Modified landscaping requirement ensuring that the sidewalk cafes are aesthetically-pleasing and consistent with the City of Chicago’s objective of developing attractive tree-lined streets, boulevards and greener neighborhoods. For details, please review the Rules and Regulations portion of the Sidewalk Cafe Application Information Package.
If your sidewalk café application and site plan will not change from what was permitted last year, you may simply renew your permit by checking the “No Change” box provided in the RENEWAL OPTION CHOICE section of your Sidewalk Café Permit Renewal Application Packet. If you did not receive your renewal application, send an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 312.744.6249