Sidewalk Cafe License

New Application Fees: Fees Vary HOW TO APPLY
Renewal Fees: Fees Vary OPERATING & RENEWING
Renewal Cycle: 2Years OPERATING & RENEWING


Consumer Affairs, Department of City
Starting June 18, 2020, the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) is not accepting applications for Sidewalk Cafe Licenses. Instead of the Sidewalk Cafe License, restaurants can apply for the Open Restaurants Program.

If you own a restaurant or bar, you must apply for Open Restaurants certification to offer outdoor dining service, even if you already have a license for an unenclosed sidewalk café or a small sidewalk café.

A Sidewalk Cafe License and revocable consent are required for a business that operates a portion of a restaurant on a public sidewalk. The New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) issues this license. 

There are three types of sidewalk cafés:

  • Enclosed sidewalk cafe: An enclosed area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that is constructed predominantly of light materials such as glass, plastic, or lightweight metal.
  • Unenclosed sidewalk cafe: An outdoor area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that contains removable tables and chairs.
  • Small unenclosed sidewalk cafe: An unenclosed sidewalk café containing no more than a single row of tables and chairs next to the building. The tables and chairs can occupy no more than 4 feet, 6 inches of the public sidewalk.

Please review the Sidewalk Cafe Compliance Checklist, available at the link below, to confirm you meet the requirements for submitting an application to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Drawing plans by an architect or engineer licensed in New York State is required to apply for this license.

Next: Apply

NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)
Licensing Center
42 Broadway, Lobby
New York,NY10004
For further assistance, please call 311 and ask for: Sidewalk Cafe License

Learn which permits, licenses and regulations matter to you

Use the Step by Step tool to get an exhaustive list of requirements that matter to you.