Outdoor Cafe Permit

Outdoor Cafe Permit

An outdoor café license is required for the operation of:  (1) an outdoor cafe on public property such as a sidewalk; and (2) an outdoor cafe or outdoor dining area on private property. Licenses are reviewed and issued by the Department of Community Preservation and Development’s Health Division.

The link above directs to the Civic Access portal where the application is available by clicking "Apply" in the banner and then searching for "Outdoor Cafe." 
You will be required to log in. This is the same system the city uses for permits, so if you have previously submitted for permits digitally, we recommend using the same log in to allow for easy tracking of all your permits/licenses.

If you are applying for Expanded Dining (use of parking spaces), you will need to fill out a second outdoor cafe license.

The following items must be submitted for review and approval of all outdoor cafes:

  • Property owner consent to an outdoor café on the property or on public property adjacent to his/her private property
  • Catalog cuts indicating furniture that will be installed and used;
  • Site plan, to scale, showing locations of tables and seating;
  • Applicable fees

For sidewalk cafes (on public property) the following items are required in addition to the above items:

  • Hold harmless agreement (need to attach)
  • Certificate of general liability insurance, aggregate of $2 million
  • Plans for storage of furniture when not in use (can’t block public ways, 5ft of distance)


Fees for outdoor cafes are:
$20 for initial application (only paid upon first year) + $50 annual renewal fee (paid first year and subsequent years)

$5 per number of seats on a public right of way Outdoor cafe licenses are typically issued within three days of receipt of a complete application and are valid for the calendar year.  The City does not pro-rate the annual fee.

The Expanded Dining (use of parking spaces) rate will be discussed for the 2024 outdoor dining season during the March 4 City Council meeting. This section will be updated following that meeting.