Outdoor Dining & Regulations: Navigating Municipalities

Outdoor Dining & Regulations: Navigating Municipalities

Municipalities can have their own rules and regulations regarding outdoor dining. You should always check with your local municipality to make sure you are compliant with them as well as the Liquor Control Board. For our Commonwealth’s largest cities, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, keep scrolling to find additional resources!


The City of Bridges has made changes to their systems in an effort to streamline the process. The guide below will help you get started!

  • Outdoor Dining & Retail License: https://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/redtail/images/20085_Guidance_-_ODR_-_3.0.pdf
    • Outdoor Dining in the Sidewalk – Use of the sidewalk for additional seating for a food service establishment.
    • Outdoor Dining in the Cartway – Use of the cartway (parking lane or full travel lane closure) for additional seating for a food service establishment.
    • Outdoor Retail Display – Use of the sidewalk for retail display and / or queuing for service windows.

This guidance applies to the public ROW under the stewardship of DOMI (Department of Mobility and Infrastructure). It does not extend to any public lot, park, other public property, or private property.

For applications for full street closures, the application should be submitted by or sponsored by the local business organization or community group. In cases where a business or community group is issued a license for Outdoor Dining and Retail for an area that includes multiple businesses utilizing the space, each business serving alcohol will need individual approval from PLCB.

Applications for retail display with four (4) seats or fewer shall be exempt from site plan requirements of this chapter as long as they can demonstrate that they meet all requirements in Placement and Design Requirements for Use of Sidewalk in § 418.03.


Philadelphia has also made changes to its policies. You can find their applications and further resources below!

  • Streeteries : (for Full Code & Requirement click here)
    • The Department of Licenses and Inspection and the Department of Streets are hereby authorized to establish, by regulations not inconsistent herewith, standards and procedures for the issuance and enforcement of licenses for use of portions of the Right-of-Way for outdoor dining, including closure of part or all of the street, such as on-street parking spaces.
    • Occupancy of the Right-of-Way for the purposes of outdoor dining pursuant to such licenses are referred to in this section as “Streeteries”, which term also refers to all furniture, structures, platforms or protective barriers associated with any Streetery.
    • Such regulations shall provide for standards concerning license issuance and standards of operation that are designed to protect public safety and the orderly, safe and efficient use of the Right-of-Way by pedestrians and vehicles and shall include, at a minimum, the standards set forth in this Section
    • Streeteries shall be located within the following geographic boundaries, and such other locations as shall be approved from time to time by the Departments of L&I, Streets and the City Council:  598.2
      • § (.1)   Within the area bounded by the Delaware River, the south houseline of South street, the center line of Third street, the south houseline of Bainbridge street, the Schuylkill River and the south houseline of Spring Garden Street;
      • § (.2)   within the geographic boundaries of the following Special Services and Business Improvement Districts:
        • (.a)   Fishtown Kensington Area Bid;
        • (.b)   South Street Headhouse District;
        • (.c)   Old City Special Services District;
        • (.d)   East Passyunk Avenue BID;
        • (.e)   Center City District;
        • (.f)   Northern Liberties Bid; and
        • (.g)   Manayunk Special Services District;
      • § (.3)   both sides of Fairmount avenue between 15th street and 25th street;
      • § (.4)   on Broad street, between Bainbridge street and the north houseline of Washington avenue;
      • § (.5)   within the geographic boundaries of the Third Council District;
      • § (.6)   on East Passyunk avenue, both sides, between Broad street and Federal street;
      • § (.7)   on Ninth street, both sides, between Christian street and Federal street;
      • § (.8)   on Germantown avenue, both sides, from Creshiem Valley road to Rex Avenue;
      • § (.9)   Wadsworth avenue both sides, Michener avenue to Cedarbrook Avenue;
      • § (.10)   Reserved;
      • § (.11)   Washington Avenue, both sides, Broad Street to 25th Street; and
      • § (.12)   Snyder Avenue, both sides, Broad Street to 25th Street.
    • Application for Streetery: https://phila.formstack.com/forms/application_for_streetery_prerequisite_approval?mc_cid=97f1285ecb&mc_eid=c4c71644d7
    • Sidewalk Café Permit: https://www.phila.gov/services/permits-violations-licenses/get-a-license/business-licenses/food-businesses/get-a-sidewalk-cafe-license/


It’s a piece of cake, right? You got this! Specialty Group will always be available as a resource – we know you’re time is valuable and this process is nothing but complex. We’ve navigated it for many and can do the same for you. Either way, we look forward to dining with you on the patio, sidewalk, streetery, or just anywhere outdoors!