Sidewalk Cafe Permit
CITY OF
CHICAGO
SIDEWALK
CAFÉ
PROGRAM
2017 SEASON
SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION
INFORMATION PACKAGE
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Public Way Use Unit • City Hall, Room 800
121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602
WWW.CITYOFCHICAGO.ORG/SBC
312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249) • 312.742.1974 (TTY)
SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
CITY OF CHICAGO
SIDEWALK CAFÉ PROGRAM
2017 SEASON-SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE
This is the City of Chicago Sidewalk Café Application Information Package for the 2017 sidewalk café season
which begins on March 1st, and ends on December 1st. Sidewalk Café Permits have a 9 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 our Small Business Center in City Hall, Room
800, 121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60602.
Renewal Option. If your 2017 sidewalk café application and site plan will not change from what was permitted in
2016, 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 - 2017 Season. If you did not receive
your renewal application, please contact us at publicwayuse@cityofchicago.org or 312-74-GOBIZ (744-6249).
For more detailed information related to our Sidewalk Cafe Program, other Public Way Use Permits, or any of
the aforementioned required business licenses, please call 312-74-GOBIZ (744-6249) or go to our website at
www.cityofchicago.org/sbc, and then click on the “Public Way Use Permits” link in the “SBC RESOURCES”
section.
For Aldermanic Ward office information, please go to the City of Chicago Office of the City Clerk website at
http://chicago.legistar.com/People.aspx.
Any questions regarding accessibility compliance please call the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities at
312-744-4441 or go to their website at www.cityofchicago.org/mopd.
The entire Sidewalk Cafe Permit application process may take 30 – 45 days. The annual Sidewalk Cafe Permit
fee varies depending on the size and location of the Sidewalk Café. The minimum Sidewalk Cafe Permit fee is
$600.00. Sidewalk Café fees are non-refundable. After your application is approved and introduced to City
Council, your fee will be calculated and your invoice will be mailed. Please do not include any payment with your
application submission.
Thank you for applying for a City of Chicago Sidewalk Café Permit, and have a nice season!
Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection
Public Way Use Unit
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APPLICATION CHECKLIST
 Application
o Please ensure that all pages of the enclosed application are accurately completed.
o For additional information, please read the Municipal Code of Chicago 10-28-800 through 10-28-885
(Article XII. Sidewalk Café) and the promulgated Rules and Regulations in this Sidewalk Café Application
Information Package.
 Business License Certificate(s)
o Please provide copies of your City of Chicago business license certificate(s). If you do not have a valid
business license, please apply for the appropriate license(s) either online at our website at
www.cityofchicago.org/sbc > Apply for a Business License, or in person at the Small Business Center in
City Hall, Room 800. For more information, please contact us at publicwayuse@cityofchicago.org or at
312-74-GOBIZ (744-6249).
 Photograph(s)
o Please provide photograph(s) on 8 ½” X 11” paper(s) which are clear and depict the proposed site of the
Sidewalk Café and its relationship to the surrounding public way.
 Plan(s)
o Plan(s) shall be submitted on 8 ½” X 11” paper(s) (will not be accepted with gray / dark background), and
clearly illustrate:
1. The business name and address as they appear on your retail food establishment license.
2. The exact length(s) and width(s) of the proposed Sidewalk Café, and they must match the
dimensions on the application.
3. Compliance with the Landscaping requirements.
▪ 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.
▪ No portion of the plants shall extend over the permitted Sidewalk Café area (they shall be
included within the limits of the permitted area).
4. Compliance with the Boundary requirements.
▪ The boundary shall fully enclose the permitted area from the remainder of the public way, with the
exception of the entrance.
▪ Sidewalk café boundaries must be constructed to provide cane detection for pedestrians who are
blind or have visual impairments. A continuous uninterrupted fence or barricade meets this
requirement if it has a continuous, firm barrier located 27 inches or less above the ground. If the
fence or barricade is not continuous or if the barricade consists of posts or other objects
connected by hanging ropes, chains or nylon strips, a detectable barrier must run continuously
along the pedestrian side of the barricade or fence at a height of 27 inches or less. CBC § 18-111104.6.
▪ Sidewalk café boundaries must be constructed so that they are free of objects that protrude more
than 4 inches from the outer edge of the fence or barricade and are more than 27 and less than
80 inches above the ground unless a corresponding barrier is positioned under the protruding
object 27 inches above the ground or lower to provide for detection by canes used by people who
are blind or have visual impairments. Examples of potential non-compliant protruding objects are
hanging lanterns, large planters or flower boxes, signs or other objects mounted on or alongside
the café fences or barricades. CBC § 18-11-1104.6.
▪ Bolting the boundary to the sidewalk is not permitted.
▪ Non permissible enclosure of City property, within the boundaries of the Sidewalk Café, shall
include, but not be limited to, parking meters, fire hydrants, newspaper stands and boxes. These
types of items can be identified as items which must be accessible to the public or to the City for
emergency services.
▪ If there are any sidewalk grates / vents within the proposed area of the Sidewalk Café, the grates
/ vents need to be identified on the plan and shown on the plan as part of the clearance.
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o
o
o
Sidewalk Café barriers, tables, benches, or chairs are not allowed to be placed on the grates /
vents.
▪ Freestanding protective coverings must be freestanding, not bolted or affixed to barrier and/or
sidewalk with all sides open without protective coverings and is required to stay within the
boundary limits of your plan.
5. Compliance with the Clearance requirements.
▪ Sidewalk Café fences or barricades must be positioned so that at least six (6) feet separates the
outer edge of the barrier from obstacles such as street signs, planters, newspaper dispensers,
fire hydrants and bus shelters. Where no obstacles are present, 6 feet must separate the outer
edge of the barrier from the edge of the sidewalk (not including the curb) unless otherwise
approved by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
▪ No portion of your Sidewalk Café can include neighboring business, residences, or empty lots.
▪ A minimum clearance of one (1) foot from the Sidewalk Café to the edge of the curb.
6. The proposed seating capacity for the Sidewalk Café.
▪ The number of chairs depicted in the Plan shall match the proposed seating capacity on the
application.
▪ Where tables are provided at sidewalk cafes, seating for people with disabilities must be provided
as well.
▪ At least 5% but not less than one of the tables in the sidewalk café seating area must be
accessible to people with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs as specified in the
enclosed accessibility requirements. Accessible tables must be dispersed throughout the café
seating area. CBC § 18-11-1108.2.8.
▪ Under no circumstances should seating in sidewalk cafés consist only of “high” or “bar stool”
height tables and chairs. Where high tables and chairs are used, accessible tables outfitted with
chairs of corresponding height must be provided as well.
▪ Seating must be structurally sound and may not be attached, anchored or suspended to the
barriers, the sidewalk or any part of the sidewalk café.
7. The Sidewalk Café entrance location.
▪ It is at least 36 inches wide at all points (maximum of five (5) feet), except doorways (measured
when patrons are seated). ANSI § 403.5. A minimum of one (1) entrance (maximum of two (2))
per sidewalk café section.
8. The access to adjacent and neighboring building entrance(s).
Sample plans may be found in pages 14-16 of this Sidewalk Café Application Information Package.
Upon successful ordinance introduction at City Council, you will receive a copy of the approved plan with
your Sidewalk Café permit after all the requirements have been met. The permit and the approved plan
shall be conspicuously displayed on the exterior wall or window of the main entrance of the establishment
during all hours of operation.
Plan(s) that do not meet the requirements will be returned to the applicant for corrections, thus delaying
the processing of your application.
 Insurance Requirements
o Please include your proof of insurance with this application. The requirements are below:
1. The Certificate of Insurance evidencing commercial general liability insurance with limits of not less
than $500,000.00 per occurrence, $1,000,000.00 in the aggregate combined single limit, for bodily
injury, personal injury and property damage liability. The City of Chicago shall be named as an
additional insured on a primary non-contributory basis for any liability arising directly or indirectly from
the operations of a sidewalk café; and the permittee shall indemnify, defend and hold the city
harmless from any loss that results directly or indirectly from the permit issuance.
2. The Certificate of Insurance “Description” section must clearly indicate the following:
▪ “City of Chicago, its agents and employees are listed as additional insured in regards to the
sidewalk café.”
▪ Your specific public way use must be listed or it will not be accepted.
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Having the City of Chicago only in the “Certificate Holder” section of the Certificate of Insurance
does not mean that the City is listed as additional insured. Therefore, please ensure that the
statement above is listed on your Certificate of Insurance “Description” section.
▪ Policy endorsement page showing the City of Chicago has been added to the applicant’s
insurance policy as an additional insured pursuant to MCC 10-28-815.
3. The issuing insurer shall provide for 10 days prior written notice to the City of Chicago if coverage is
substantially changed, cancelled or not renewed.
4. The Certificate of Insurance “Certificate Holder” section must include the following:
▪
CITY OF CHICAGO
DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS & CONSUMER PROTECTION
121 N. LASALLE ST., RM. 805
CHICAGO, IL 60602
5. Examples of a “Certificate of Liability Insurance” and a “Policy Endorsement” may be found in pages
12 and 13, respectively, of this Sidewalk Café Application Information Package.
6. The insured listed on the Certificate of Insurance must be issued to the entity applying for the
sidewalk café permit.
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION
APPLICANT INFORMATION
LEGAL NAME OF ENTITY:
BUSINESS NAME (DBA):
PERMIT MAILING ADDRESS:
CITY:
STATE:
CONTACT PERSON:
PHONE:
ZIP CODE:
TITLE:
MOBILE:
E-MAIL:
Note: Please review the above section to ensure the accuracy of your contact information. Any
omissions/inaccuracies will delay the processing of your application.
All Sidewalk Café applicants are required to obtain the signature of the Alderman in whose ward the proposed
use of the public way is located. For Aldermanic Ward office information, please go to the City of Chicago Office
of the City Clerk website at http://chicago.legistar.com/People.aspx. Additionally, the applicant will need to
forward the signed and completed Sidewalk Café Application, including plans, photos, certificate of insurance,
acceptance letter, and a copy of current license certificate.
Failure to submit all the requirements will delay processing your application. No faxes will be accepted. Please
return this application and all the associated documents by mail or in person to:
City of Chicago
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Small Business Center - Public Way Use Unit, City Hall, Room 800
121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602
ALDERMAN’S RECOMMENDATION
Application should have prior recommendation of the Alderman of the Ward within which the Sidewalk Café will
be located. Such recommendation shall not be unreasonably withheld.
ALDERMAN’S SIGNATURE:
DATE:
WARD:
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APPLICATION WORKSHEET
Please enclose a plan of the proposed Sidewalk Café and its relationship to the surrounding public way. Please
show the associated dimensions, clearance measurements, boundaries and landscaping, street location, seating
capacity, accessibility to patrons with disabilities and its relationship to the surrounding public way. Also include
photograph(s) of proposed Sidewalk Café’s location.
In addition, please fill in below the proposed Sidewalk Café’s (1) business license information, (2) street location,
dimensions, (3) seating capacity, and (4) days and hours of operation.
1. Business License Information
ACCOUNT #:
SITE #
CURRENT RETAIL FOOD LICENSE #:
BUSINESS LOCATION ADDRESS:
2. Proposed Sidewalk Café Location and Dimension Information
Note: The street name(s) and proposed length(s) and width(s) must match the proposed plan.
STREET NAME (i.e. S. State St.)
LENGTH
WIDTH
3. Proposed Sidewalk Café’s Seating Capacity
Note: The proposed seating capacity must match the proposed plan.
CAPACITY:
4. Days and Hours of Operation
Note: Sidewalk Café’s cannot operate earlier than 8:00 AM nor later than midnight.
DAY OF THE WEEK
PROPOSED HOURS OF OPERATION
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
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ACCEPTANCE OF SIDEWALK CAFÉ PERMIT TERMS
Please check ALL the boxes. Failure to complete this section properly will prevent your application from
being processed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:
 I hereby understand and accept the terms and conditions relative to the issuance of the Sidewalk
Café permit, and by signing below, I acknowledge that I must adhere to the City of Chicago’s
Municipal Code 10-28-800 through 10-28-885 (Article XII. Sidewalk Cafés), the Rules and
Regulations for Sidewalk Cafés, as well as all the additional requirements promulgated herein:
I understand it shall be my duty as the permit holder, and as a condition of the permit, to:
 comply with all the requirements defined within Chicago’s Municipal Code, the Rules and
Regulations, as well as the requirements promulgated herein;
 upon submission of the Sidewalk Café Application, furnish the Certificate of Insurance;
 upon the introduction of the permit ordinance at City Council, pay the non-refundable applicable
Sidewalk Café annual permit fee (minimum $600.00, varies with size and location);
 resolve all Account Holds since failure to do so will prevent the issuance of this permit application;
 install or maintain the Sidewalk Café after the issuance of the permit by the Commissioner of
Business Affairs and Consumer Protection;
 install and/or maintain the Sidewalk Café in a manner that complies with all applicable accessibility
requirements under local, state or Federal law, including but not limited to those set forth in the
“Accessibility Requirements for Sidewalk Cafes in the City of Chicago” section of this Sidewalk Café
Application Information Package
 I understand that failure to adhere to all conditions imposed in the permit may result in revocation
of the permit.
 I hereby attest that all information that I have submitted is true and accurate.
MUST BE SIGNED BY AN AUTHORIZED OWNER/OFFICER OF THE LICENSED BUSINESS ENTITY
SIGNATURE:
DATE:
PRINT NAME:
TITLE:
ACCOUNT #:
SITE #
LEGAL NAME OF ENTITY:
BUSINESS NAME (DBA):
BUSINESS LOCATION ADDRESS:
CITY: Chicago
BUSINESS PHONE:
E-MAIL:
STATE: Illinois
ZIP CODE:
MOBILE:
PERMIT TYPE: Sidewalk Café
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SAMPLE CERTIFICATE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE
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SAMPLE POLICY ENDORSEMENT
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SAMPLE SIDEWALK CAFÉ SITE PLAN – A
MAIN STREET RESTAURANT
1234 MAIN STREET
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SAMPLE SIDEWALK CAFÉ SITE PLAN – B
SOUTH AVENUE
<3’>
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SAMPLE SIDEWALK CAFÉ SITE PLAN – C
FRONTAGE ROAD
FRONTAGE ROAD RESTAURANT
4321 FRONTAGE ROAD
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CITY OF CHICAGO MUNICIPAL CODE
ARTICLE XII. SIDEWALK CAFÉS
10-28-800 DEFINITIONS.
Wherever used in this article, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(A) Alcoholic beverages mean and include alcohol, spirits, wine and beer.
(B) Department means the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection of the City of Chicago.
(C) Commissioner means the Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection of
the City of Chicago.
(D) Food means any raw, cooked or processed edible substance or ingredient, used or intended for use in whole
or in part for human consumption, and shall include nonalcoholic beverages allowed to be sold in accordance with
this article, but shall not include alcoholic beverages.
(E) Person is defined as provided in Section 1-4-090(e) of the code.
(F) Sidewalk Café means a portion of an immobile retail food establishment located on a public right-of-way,
whether directly adjacent to, or in close proximity to, the retail food establishment.
10-28-805 PERMIT REQUIRED FOR SIDEW ALK CAFÉ.
A permit, which shall be known as a Sidewalk Café permit, shall be required to operate a Sidewalk Café. A
Sidewalk Café permit shall be valid from March 1st to and including December 1st of the year of its issuance.
The fee for a Sidewalk Café permit shall be determined by the Commissioner, taking into account land values,
and shall be set forth by regulation.
10-28-810 PERMIT APPLICATION AND APPROVAL PROCEDURE.
Application for a Sidewalk Café permit shall be submitted to the Commissioner, who shall make available forms
for this purpose. The applicant shall provide such information on the application as the Commissioner may require
by regulation, including:
(A) Proof that the applicant holds a valid retail food establishment license issued to the establishment that will
provide food for the Sidewalk Café.
(B) A proof of insurance as required by this article.
(C) A plan for the Sidewalk Café, complying with applicable regulations, and demonstrating that the sidewalk café
shall not unreasonably interfere with: (1) adequate pedestrian flow, (2) access to building entrances; (3)
pedestrian and traffic safety; and (4) the aesthetic quality of the surrounding area.
10-28-815 INSURANCE REQUIRED.
Each applicant for a Sidewalk Café permit shall furnish a certificate of insurance evidencing commercial general
liability insurance with limits of not less than $500,000.00 per occurrence, $1,000,000.00 in the aggregate
combined single limit, for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage liability. The insurance shall provide
for 30 days prior written notice to be given to the City of Chicago if coverage is substantially changed, canceled or
non-renewed.
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The City of Chicago shall be named as an additional insured on a primary non-contributory basis for any liability
arising directly or indirectly from the operations of a Sidewalk Café; and the permittee shall indemnify, defend and
hold the city harmless from any loss that results directly or indirectly from the permit issuance.
In addition, if alcoholic beverages will be served at the Sidewalk Café, the applicant shall provide proof of liquor
liability (dram shop) insurance for the Sidewalk Café, of such type and in such amounts as required by the code.
Each permittee shall maintain the insurance coverage required under this section during the period. The
certificate(s) of insurance shall be presented to the Commissioner prior to the issuance of a permit under this
article. Failure of the permittee to maintain the insurance required by this section shall result in the revocation of
the Sidewalk Café permit.
10-28-820 REVIEW OF APPLIC ATION.
The department shall review a submitted application for compliance with this article and regulations.
(A) Except with regard to renewal applications governed by subsection (B), if the commissioner finds that the
applicant meets the requirements of this article and the regulations promulgated hereunder, the commissioner
shall provide the application to the alderman of the affected ward, together with a recommendation for introduction
of an ordinance approving the application. Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. Once an ordinance
approving the application is effective, the commissioner shall issue the sidewalk café permit to the applicant.
(B) For purposes of this section, “renewal application” means an application for the operation of a sidewalk café
at the same location and by the same person approved by the city council within the previous 12 months.
If the commissioner finds that a renewal application meets the requirements of this article and the regulations
promulgated hereunder, the commissioner shall prepare an ordinance, which ordinance may include a group of
renewal applications, for approval by the city council. Such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. Once an
ordinance approving the renewal application is effective, the commissioner shall issue the sidewalk café permit to
the applicant.
(C) If the commissioner finds that the applicant fails to meet the requirements of this article or the regulations
promulgated hereunder, or if approval by ordinance is withheld, the commissioner shall deny the application or
renewal application. The commissioner shall notify the unsuccessful applicant in writing of the denial and the
reasons therefor within ten business days after the denial. An applicant for renewal that was subjected to, or
eligible for, temporary closure as a result of violations pursuant to Section 10-28-870(D) during the prior permit
period, if those violations have been finally adjudicated and sustained, shall be subject to: (i) denial of the renewal
or (ii) having the renewal conditioned upon a written plan of operation or other set of conditions that the
commissioner determines is necessary to ensure compliance with this Chapter. An applicant for a permit that was
issued two or more notices of violation pursuant to Section 10-28-870(C) during the prior permit period, if those
violations have been finally adjudicated and sustained, shall be subject to denial of the permit for the permit
period applied for.
10-28-825 COMPLIANCE W ITH PLAN AND OTHER COMPO NENTS OF APPLICATION.
(A) Each Sidewalk Café shall comply in all respects with the specifications set out in the plan submitted to the
Commissioner, and with the other components of the application.
(B) In the event that the application, including the plan, becomes inaccurate or incomplete in any respect as a
result of circumstances or events outside the control of the permittee, the permittee shall notify the Commissioner
within three business days of such circumstances or events.
(C) Before taking any action that would result in the application, including the plan, becoming inaccurate or
incomplete in any respect, the permittee shall seek the prior approval of the Commissioner.
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(D) Upon being notified of an actual or contemplated change pursuant to either subsection (B) or (C) of this
section, the Commissioner shall review the change to determine if such change is insubstantial or substantial,
using the same criteria as relevant to the Commissioner's consideration of an initial application. If such change is
insubstantial and if the application, as so changed, meets the criteria for an initial application, the Commissioner
shall approve the change. If such change is insubstantial and if the application, as so changed, does not meet the
criteria for an initial application, the Commissioner shall disapprove the change. If such change is substantial, a
new permit application shall be required.
10-28-830 PERMIT--ASSIGNMENT OR TRANSFER PROHIBITED.
No permittee shall assign or transfer a Sidewalk Café permit.
10-28-835 PERMIT FOR ONE RETAIL FOOD ESTABLISHMENT ONLY.
A Sidewalk Café shall be for the exclusive use of the licensed retail food establishment stated on the application.
Sharing or other joint use of a Sidewalk Café location by more than one retail food establishment shall not be
permitted.
10-28-840 PERMIT FOR FOOD AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE SERVICE ONLY.
A Sidewalk Café permit shall only authorize food and alcoholic beverage service at the Sidewalk Café.
Regardless of what other activity may take place inside the establishment pursuant to license or permit, such
activity shall not be allowed at the Sidewalk Café by virtue of the Sidewalk Café permit.
10-28-845 OPERATIONAL CONDITIONS.
(A) Sidewalk Cafés permitted under this article shall not operate earlier than 8:00 a.m. nor later than 12:00
midnight.
(B) Sidewalk Cafés permitted under this article shall not play music, whether live or recorded, nor allow music to
be played at the Sidewalk Café, other than through headphones.
(C) The operator of a Sidewalk Café shall install and maintain a physical boundary separating the permitted
outdoor seating from the remainder of the public way. The operator shall leave six feet of public way unobstructed
for pedestrian passage; the Commissioner may alter this requirement by regulation in a situation where
adherence to the requirement would make operation of a Sidewalk Café impossible and reduction of the
unobstructed portion of the public way would not compromise pedestrian safety. The construction, configuration
and other characteristics of the boundary, including landscaping, shall be set forth by regulation.
10-28-850 ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE SERVICE--REQUIREMENTS.
If alcoholic beverages are served at the Sidewalk Café, the operator must be validly licensed under the code for
such sales. Alcoholic beverages supplied by the customer or by any person other than the permittee will not be
allowed at Sidewalk Cafés.
10-28-855 COMPLIANCE W ITH CODE AND RULES AND REGULATIONS REQUIRED.
All holders of a Sidewalk Café permit and their employees shall be subject to and comply with all applicable
requirements and standards for retail food establishments contained in the code, as amended, and the rules and
regulations promulgated hereunder, and all laws, rules and regulations pertaining to the sale of alcoholic
beverages.
10-28-860 PROMULGATION OF REGULATIONS; FORCE AND EFFECT.
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(A) The Commissioner is authorized to promulgate regulations to carry out the purposes of this article, including
without limitation regulations governing:
(1) The location, arrangement and design of Sidewalk Cafés to ensure the flow of pedestrian traffic, the safety of
pedestrians and auto traffic, the access to buildings and transportation facilities, the prevention of an excessive
number of cafés, and the best service to the public;
(2) The size, design and other specifications for tables and serving equipment to be used by operators, and the
design of enclosures or partial enclosures;
(3) The types of food and beverages that may be served at Sidewalk Cafés;
(4) The time periods during which application can be made for a Sidewalk Café permit;
(5) Landscaping and other aesthetic components of the Sidewalk Café; and
(6) Any other matter pertaining to this article.
(B) A permittee shall comply with the regulations promulgated pursuant to this article, which shall have the force
and effect of law.
10-28-865 HEARINGS.
The Commissioner may hold formal and informal hearings prior to the promulgation of rules and regulations as
the Commissioner deems necessary. All such hearings shall be open to the public.
10-28-870 ENFORCEMENT.
(A) The Commissioner or his designee is authorized to take such action as necessary to enforce the provisions of
this article, including conducting on-site inspections of Sidewalk Cafés associated retail food establishments to
determine compliance with the permitting and other requirements of this article and regulations promulgated
hereunder.
(B) Upon request by the Commissioner or his designee, the operator of a Sidewalk Café shall provide for
inspection the documents required by this article to operate a Sidewalk Café, including the Sidewalk Café permit,
the plan for the Sidewalk Café, and proof of insurance.
(C) Any Sidewalk Café for which a permit is required by this article, and which has failed to obtains such permit,
may be closed by the Commissioner or his designee until such permit is procured. Upon being notified of closure,
all sidewalk café activity must cease, and all obstructions in the public way, including boundaries, tables and
chairs, must be removed.
(D) Any sidewalk café for which a permit is in effect under this article may be temporarily closed by the
commissioner or his designee, if the café has been issued notices of violation on three different days during the
permit period, each of which pertains to a significant breach of public safety. Non-limiting examples include: (i)
café footprint or café-related objects or equipment on property beyond plan specifications, (ii) a missing or
incomplete barrier, or (iii) signs, serving tray stands or other objects in the public way. Upon being subjected to a
temporary closure, the permittee may provide to the commissioner evidence that the objectionable conditions
have been fully remedied. Such temporary closure shall remain in effect until the commissioner is satisfied that
the violations have been properly remedied and will not reoccur.
10-28-875 VIOLATION--PENALTIES.
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(A) Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article or regulations promulgated hereunder shall be
subject to a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense, and each day such a violation
continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense.
(B) In addition to the above fine, and any person who knowingly interferes with or impedes the Commissioner, or
investigator, of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection in the enforcement of this article
shall be subject to arrest by a duly authorized peace officer of the department and imprisonment for a term not to
exceed six months under the procedures set forth in Section 1-2-1.1 of the Illinois Municipal Code and under the
provisions of the Illinois Code of Criminal Procedure,
(C) Any sidewalk café in operation without a valid sidewalk café permit or subject to Section 10-28-870(D) is
subject to removal from the public way by the commissioner or his designee. The provisions of Section 10-28010(i) of the code shall apply to the removal of any portion of a sidewalk café, from the public way, whether for
unpermitted operation or for obstruction of public way; provided, however, that the amount of the fine for a
violation shall be as set forth in this section.
10-28-880 VIOLATION--PERMIT REVOCATION.
In addition to fines and other penalties as provided for herein, three or more violations of any provision of this
article or regulations promulgated hereunder within a permit period shall subject the permittee to revocation of the
Sidewalk Café permit by the Commissioner.
10-28-885 SEVERABILITY.
The invalidity of any section or part of any section of this article, or any regulation promulgated hereunder, shall
not affect the validity of any other section or part thereof or regulation.
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ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR SIDEWALK CAFES IN THE
CITY OF CHICAGO
All sidewalk cafés operating in the City of Chicago must comply with the following City of
Chicago accessibility requirements . Restaurant owners and operators must also comply with
numerous additional City, State and Federal accessibility requirements not discussed here.
SIDEW ALK CAFÉ BOUNDARIES
Sidewalk café boundaries must not interfere with the accessibility of the public right of way on the sidewalk.
•
Sidewalk café boundaries must be positioned so that at least 6 feet separates the outer edge of the barrier
from obstacles such as street signs, planters, newspaper dispensers, fire hydrants and bus shelters. Where
no obstacles are present, 6 feet must separate other edge of the barrier from the edge of the sidewalk (not
including the curb) unless otherwise approved by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer
Protection. Sidewalk Café Rules of Operation.
•
Sidewalk café boundaries must be constructed so that they are free of objects that protrude more than 4
inches and are more than 27 and less than 80 inches above the ground unless a corresponding barrier is
positioned under the protruding object 27 inches above the ground or lower to provide cane detection.
Examples of potential non-compliant protruding objects are hanging lanterns, signs or other objects mounted
on or alongside the café fences or barricades. CBC § 18-11-1104.6.
•
Sidewalk café boundaries must be constructed so that they provide cane detection for pedestrians who are
blind or have visual impairments. A continuous uninterrupted fence or barricade meets this requirement if it
has a continuous, firm barrier at 27 inches or less above ground. If the fence or barricade is not continuous or
if the barricade consists of posts or other objects connected by hanging ropes, chains or nylon strips, a
detectable barrier must run continuously along the pedestrian side of the barricade or fence at a height of 27
inches or less. CBC § 18-11-1104.6.
ACCESSIBLE TABLES
At least 5% but not less than one of the tables in each sidewalk café seating area must be accessible to people
with disabilities, including those who use wheelchairs. Accessible tables must be located on an accessible route
(see below) and should be dispersed throughout the café seating area. Accessible tables have the following
characteristics:
•
•
•
•
Table top surfaces that are 28 to 34 inches above the floor. ANSI § 902.3.
Clear floor space at the table that is at least 30 inches wide and 48 inches deep. Where possible this seating
should be located where the sidewalk has a slope that is no greater than 1:50. ANSI §§ 305.2, 902.2.
Knee clearance underneath the table 27 inches in height to a depth of at least 8 inches and toe clearance at
least 9 inches in height to a depth of at least 11 inches. ANSI § 306.
Under no circumstances should seating in sidewalk dining areas consist only of “high” or “bar stool” height
tables and chairs. Where high tables and chairs are used, accessible tables outfitted with chairs of
corresponding height must be provided as well.
ACCESSIBLE ROUTES
Accessible routes must connect accessible sidewalk café tables with at least one restaurant entrance that
provides access to restrooms and, where available, public telephones. In addition, if the Sidewalk Café can be
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entered from the sidewalk, an accessible route must be provided from at least one sidewalk entrance to the
accessible sidewalk café tables.
In order for a route to be considered accessible:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
It should be 36 inches wide except where passing through an entrance gate, doorway or partition opening.
ANSI § 403.5.
Doorways and entrances on the accessible route should have a clear opening width of at least 32 inches
(measured from the door surface to the doorframe when the door is open 90 degrees). 404.2.2.
Thresholds along the route should be ½ inch or less and beveled with a slope no greater than 1:2. ANSI §§
303.3, 404.2.4.
The ground or floor surface should be stable, firm and slip-resistant (no dirt paths, loose gravel or grass).
ANSI § 302.1.
The floor surface should have a slope no greater than 1:20 in the direction of the accessible route and a
cross-slope no greater than 1:50. ANSI § 403.3.
Where it changes level, appropriate slopes (1:20 or less) or curb ramps, ramps, elevators or platform lifts
must be used to provide access. ANSI § 303.
It must be free of objects that protrude more than 4 inches into the circulation path at a height from 27 to 80
inches unless a cane detectable barrier less than 27 inches above the ground is provided. CBC § 18-111104.6.1
SERVICE ANIMALS
Service animals are animals trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities. These include but are not limited
to guide dogs used by people who are blind or have visual impairments, hearing dogs used by people who are
deaf or hard of hearing, seizure alert dogs used by people with epilepsy and other disabilities that cause seizures
and dogs that assist people with mobility impairments. In Chicago, dogs are the only animals permitted to act as
service animals in places of public accommodation like restaurants. Service animals are not pets and must be
permitted to accompany individuals with disabilities who patronize sidewalk cafés. In addition, Illinois law requires
that service animals in training be allowed in these establishments as well.
POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES F OR MANAGEMENT AND ST AFF
Restaurants must implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure that people with disabilities have
access to accessible seating in sidewalk seating areas. Some basic policies that should be considered:
•
•
•
•
Before opening each day and at other times during the course of the operating hours of the sidewalk café,
make sure that tables and chairs have not shifted in a way that intrudes on the accessible route.
Train all staff as to the location of the accessible seating areas. Make sure that they give individuals with
disabilities the choice of waiting for an accessible table or proceeding to another table if that is available.
Reserve accessible tables and chairs for use by individuals with disabilities until all other tables have been
occupied. This will maximize the opportunity for people with disabilities to use these accessible features
without unnecessary delays. If a person with a disability chooses to sit at a table that is not configured to be
accessible you must allow that person to do so.
If a platform lift is utilized to provide an accessible route to an outdoor dining area:
o
The lift must be left on and unlocked at all times so that it can be operated independently by patrons with
disabilities.
o
The lifts should receive scheduled maintenance. It is the responsibility of the restaurant to take steps to
ensure that it is operable and that any outages in service are minimized.
o
Staff should test the lift at the beginning of each day and be instructed to contact a repair service
immediately if the lift is not working.
o
Staff should be trained on use of the manual back-up system of the lift to ensure that individuals with
disabilities will be able to exit in the event of a mechanical breakdown or power outage.
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RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR SIDEWALK CAFÉS
As promulgated by the Commissioner of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection pursuant to the
provisions of Chapter 10-28 and Section 10-28-860 of the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago
I.
Application
Applications received incomplete or containing inconsistent information shall result in delayed processing
of your application.
a. Public Way Use Unit
All applications and required documents shall be forwarded to:
City of Chicago
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
Small Business Center - Public Way Use Unit, City Hall, Room 800
121 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602
b. Alderman’s Recommendation
Application should have prior recommendation of the Alderman of the Ward within which the Sidewalk
Café will be located. Such recommendation shall not be unreasonably withheld.
c.
Plan
Plan shall be submitted on 8 1/2" X 11" paper. Plan need not be to scale, but shall show exact length
and width dimensions of entire Sidewalk Café relative to the associated business, building, curb line,
and existing encumbrances on the public way. Public way encumbrances include, but are not limited
to, parking meters, fire hydrants, bike racks, light poles, and trees. Plan shall include all landscaping
and design requirements and additional written narrative may accompany Plan. Also, include the
business name and address as indicated on your business license.
d. Photographs
Pictures shall be clear. They shall depict the proposed site where the Café is to be located and the
relationship of the proposed Sidewalk Café to the surrounding public way.
II.
Permit
A Sidewalk Café Permit is valid from the date of issuance up to and including December 1st.
a. Account Holds
All holds on your business account shall be resolved prior to the issuance of your Sidewalk Café
Permit.
b. Pending Passage
The issuance of a Sidewalk Café Permit is a privilege granted by the City Council.
As a courtesy to Sidewalk Café operators, the Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer
Protection may issue the Sidewalk Café Permit upon introduction and pending passage of the
ordinance by City Council. However, the Commissioner shall rescind said Permit if the respective
Sidewalk Café ordinance is not passed by City Council. Permits shall be issued after the receipt of
the applicable permit fee and insurance certificate.
c.
Insurance
After ordinance introduction, applicant shall furnish an insurance certificate and policy endorsement
page showing that the City of Chicago has been added to the applicant’s insurance policy as an
additional insured pursuant to 10-28-815:
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
10-28-815
Insurance required.
Each applicant for a sidewalk café permit shall furnish a certificate of insurance
evidencing commercial general liability insurance with limits of not less than
$500,000.00 per occurrence, $1,000,000.00 in the aggregate combined single
limit, for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage liability. The
insurance shall provide for 30 days prior written notice to be given to the City of
Chicago if coverage is substantially changed, canceled or non-renewed.
The City of Chicago shall be named as an additional insured on a primary noncontributory basis for any liability arising directly or indirectly from the operations
of a sidewalk café; and the permittee shall indemnify, defend and hold the city
harmless from any loss that results directly or indirectly from the permit issuance.
In addition, if alcoholic beverages will be served at the sidewalk café, the
applicant shall provide proof of liquor liability (dramshop) insurance for the
sidewalk café as required in Section 4-60-040(c)(2) of this code; provided,
however, if alcoholic beverages will be served at a sidewalk café operated by an
indoor retail market, the owner or manager of the indoor retail market shall
provide proof that each retail food establishment serving alcoholic beverages at
the sidewalk café has obtained liquor liability (dramshop) insurance for the
sidewalk café as required in Section 4-60-040(c)(2) of this code.
Each sidewalk café permittee shall maintain the insurance coverage required
under this section for the duration of the sidewalk café permit. The certificate(s)
of insurance shall be presented to the commissioner prior to the issuance of a
permit under this article. Failure of the permittee to maintain the insurance
required by this section shall result in the revocation of the sidewalk café permit.
(Added Coun. J. 3-15-00, p. 27687, § 4; Amend Coun. J. 3-9-11, p. 113789, § 1)
Certificates of insurance shall be renewed at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the policy. If the
licensed establishment has an address range on their City of Chicago licenses, the Certificate of
Insurance must match the range on the licenses.
If alcoholic beverages will be served at a sidewalk café operated by an indoor retail market, the owner
or manager of the indoor retail market shall provide proof that each retail food establishment serving
alcoholic beverages at the sidewalk café has obtained liquor liability (dram shop) insurance for the
sidewalk café.
d. Annual Fee
Fees for Sidewalk Café Permits shall be paid upon ordinance introduction and are non-refundable.
Permits are revocable by the Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection at any
time.
III.
Operation
a. Permit/Plan Display and Capacity Requirement
The Sidewalk Café Permit and approved plan shall be conspicuously displayed on the exterior wall or
window of the main entrance of the licensed retail food establishment during all hours of operation.
The boundaries of the Sidewalk Café, including the physical boundary separating the permitted
outdoor seating from the remainder of the public way, shall reflect the approved plan and shall not be
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
modified or altered unless approved by the Commissioner. The arrangement and number of tables
and chairs within the authorized boundaries of the Sidewalk Café shall reflect the approved plan and
shall not be substantially changed, altered, added to or reduced without the approval by the
Commissioner. Tables and chairs shall always be set up and maintained in a manner ready for
access and use by patrons. Seating must be structurally sound and may not be attached, anchored or
suspended to the barriers, the sidewalk or any part of the sidewalk café. In addition, the capacity of
the Sidewalk Café shall not exceed the approved seating capacity number on the Sidewalk Café
Permit. At no time may the Sidewalk Café be used in excess of the approved seating capacity to
allow for standing room patrons.
b. Responsibilities of Sidewalk Café Permittee
A Sidewalk Café permittee is responsible to the community surrounding the Sidewalk Café premises.
It is the affirmative duty of a Sidewalk Café permittee to report promptly to the police department all
illegal activity reported to or observed by the permittee on or adjacent to the permitted Sidewalk Café
premises; to answer fully and truthfully all questions of an identified police officer who inquires or
investigates concerning persons or events on or adjacent to the permitted Sidewalk Café premises; to
cooperate with the police in any such inquiry or investigation, including the giving of oral or written
statements to the police at reasonable times and locations in the course of investigations; and to sign
a complaint against any person whom the licensee observes in any illegal conduct or activity on or
adjacent to the permitted Sidewalk Café premises. For purposes of this rule, “Adjacent” means: (1)
any public way located immediately next to a Sidewalk Café premises; or (2) any private property that
is located immediately next to a Sidewalk Café premises, if such private property is owned, leased or
rented by the permittee or permittee’ s property owner; or (3) any private property separated from a
Sidewalk Café by a public way and located immediately next to such public way, if such property is
owned, leased or rented by the permittee or the permittee’s property owner.
c.
Alcoholic Beverage Service Responsibility
A Sidewalk Café permittee has an affirmative duty to prohibit any patron from leaving the Sidewalk
Café premises with any alcoholic liquor, except in a package properly sealed, bagged and receipted
pursuant to Section 633 of the Liquor Control Act of 1934, added by P.A. 941047, effective January 1,
2007, and codified at 235 I.L.C.S. 5/6-33, as amended.
If alcoholic beverages are served at a sidewalk café operated by an indoor retail market:
i. the retail food establishment selling the alcoholic beverages must be validly licensed under
the code for such sales;
ii. the retail food establishment serving the alcoholic beverage has maintained its liquor liability
(dramshop) insurance when serving the alcoholic beverage; and
iii. the alcoholic beverages must be served in plastic cups which shall clearly identify the retail
food establishment from which each alcoholic beverage was purchased.
Also, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle of liquor) is not allowed in a Sidewalk Café.
d. Beautification and Landscaping
The Sidewalk Café applicant should prepare a beautification and landscaping plan for the railing,
barriers, and seating arrangement that is consistent with the City of Chicago’s objective of developing
attractive tree-lined streets, aesthetically-pleasing boulevards, and greener neighborhoods that
contribute to the dynamism and diversity of Chicago.
All planter boxes, plant material, and beautification artifacts within shall be maintained throughout the
entire time the Sidewalk Café is present on the public way. Planter boxes, plant material, and
beautification artifacts shall not extend over the permitted seating area, shall not interfere with the
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
accessible route provided for people with disabilities, and will not protrude more than 4 inches into
any circulation path at a height 27 – 80 inches above the ground.
Any exceptions to an approved beautification and landscaping plan must be approved by the
Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
e. Boundary and Clearance
Boundary shall enclose the permitted area from the remainder of the public way, and be maintained
in accordance with the approved plan. The boundary shall be no less than 24 inches or more than 36
inches in height and shall include cane detectable barriers located 27 inches or less above the
ground. Boundary shall be durable so that it shall not collapse or fall over due to wind or incidental
contact with patrons or pedestrians. The boundary may have movable sections to aid in public
access to seating as long as the boundary complies with the submitted plan. The boundary shall be
maintained in place during operating hours. No boundary may be stabilized by bolting to the sidewalk.
Boundary shall be designed to leave at least 6 feet of clear and unobstructed Sidewalk space to allow
for pedestrian passage. Clearance between Sidewalk Café and all public way encumbrances shall
also be at least 6 feet. Sidewalk Cafés located along the curb shall allow a minimum clearance of one
(1) foot from the Sidewalk Café to the edge of the curb.
The Sidewalk Café’s boundary and furniture may be placed on the public way once the Permit is
issued, and shall be removed on the expiration date noted on the Sidewalk Café Permit. Any
Sidewalk Café in operation or continuing to keep the boundaries and/or furniture on the public way
shall be subject to removal and citation.
Non permissible enclosure of City property, within the boundaries of the Sidewalk Café, shall include,
but not limited to, parking meters, fire hydrants, newspaper stands and boxes. These types of items
can be identified as items which must be accessible to the public or to the City for emergency
services.
Sidewalk Cafés Permits shall only be issued to the address stated on the respective applicant’s retail
food license. No portion of the Sidewalk Café may expand to include neighboring businesses,
residences, or empty lots.
Any exceptions to the Boundary and Clearance Requirements must be approved by the
Commissioner of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
f.
Parkways
Sidewalk Cafés cannot be located on parkways with existing grass surfaces.
g. Debris
All areas surrounding the Sidewalk Café shall be policed by your staff to ensure the removal of all
wrappings, litter, debris and food. Daily sanitary cleaning is required. Sidewalks shall be kept clean,
and food from the Café shall not be disposed of in city containers.
h. Operating Hours
Sidewalk Cafés shall not operate earlier than 8:00 am and no later than 12:00 am, unless otherwise
specified on your Permit. No activity is allowed within the limits of the Sidewalk Café outside of its
approved operating hours as noted on the respective permit.
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
i.
Smoking
Pursuant to the “Chicago Indoor Air Ordinance of 2008,” smoking is only allowed within the limits of a
Sidewalk Café as long as it occurs fifteen (15) feet beyond any entrance(s), exit(s), window(s) that
open, and ventilation intake(s) of a public place or place of employment.
No smoking is allowed within the limits of a Sidewalk Café outside of the Sidewalk Café’s approved
operating hours as noted on the respective permit.
j.
Employees
Sidewalk Café employees shall be subject to and comply with all applicable requirements and
standards for a retail food establishment.
k.
Patrons
Patrons shall wear shoes and shirts at all times.
l.
Pets
Service Animals are not pets and are allowed within all Sidewalk Cafés. Dogs that are not service
animals are allowed in all Sidewalk Cafes that are accessible from the street. The former Retail Food
Establishment-Supplemental License for Dog-Friendly Areas has been eliminated but the rules that
govern this activity are still in effect under the Municipal Code of the City of Chicago 4-8-031,
excerpted below:
 The Sidewalk Café operator may designate a dog-friendly area within the Sidewalk Café but
may not require that people accompanied by dogs acting as service animals use that area;
 Dogs, other than service animals, shall not be permitted to be in or travel through any indoor
portion of the retail food establishment, or in any area where food is prepared;
 Permittees have the right to have the owner of any dog, including dogs acting as service
animals remove the dog from the premises, if the dog is not housebroken, if the owner of the
dog fails to exercise reasonable control over the dog, or if the dog behaves in a manner that
compromises or threatens the health or safety of restaurant patrons or staff;
 Dogs, other than service animals, must bear a current rabies vaccination tag or a City of
Chicago license;
 In the event any patron's dog bites or attacks a person while on the sidewalk cafe's premises,
the licensee shall immediately notify 311;
 Sidewalk Café employee’s shall not have contact with the dogs. If any employee has contact
with a dog or a surface touched by a dog, the employee shall immediately wash his/her
hands before continuing with any food service work.
m. Deck
No portion of the Sidewalk Café can be elevated in the style of a deck.
n. Scaffolding and Construction Canopies
Sidewalk Cafés cannot operate under scaffolding or construction canopies.
o. Food Service
A Sidewalk Café Permit may only be granted to an establishment with a valid retail food license
where the primary business activity in the Sidewalk Café is the service of prepared food and nonalcoholic beverages. As such, prepared food and non-alcoholic beverages must be offered for sale
and for immediate consumption at all times the Sidewalk Café is operational.
If the applicant is the owner or manager of an indoor retail market, then the owner or manager of the
indoor retail market is not required to obtain a retail food establishment license.
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
In the event a business applies for a Sidewalk Café Permit, holds a tavern license for their primary
business activity, and also holds a retail food license, the service of prepared food and non-alcoholic
beverages must be available at all times to any customer during the time the Sidewalk Café is open
and occupied. For the purposes of this section, the service of snacks such as pre-packaged foods
(potato chips, pretzels, etc.) shall not be considered “prepared.”
IV.
Compliance
a. Penalties
Any Sidewalk Café permittee who violates these Rules and Regulations or any part thereof adopted
by the department under authority vested in it by Section 10-28-860 of the Municipal Code of the City
of Chicago will be subject to the enforcement and penalties as prescribed in Sections 4-60, 4-4-280,
10-28-855, 10-28-860, 10-28-870, 10-28-875 and 10-28-880 of the Municipal Code of the City of
Chicago and to the penalties as prescribed in the Illinois Liquor Control Act of 1934.
b. Enforcement
Complaints regarding Sidewalk Cafés will be investigated by the Department of Business Affairs and
Consumer Protection and violations of the rules and regulations heretofore promulgated will result in
citations and possible revocation of the Sidewalk Café Permit.
V.
Indoor Retail Market Sidewalk Café
a. Additional Application Requirements
Indoor Retail Markets must list all participating Retail Food Establishments at the time of application.
All listed restaurants must have a current Retail Food Establishment license.
b. Changes to participants in the Retail Market
If there are any changes, with regard to participating restaurants, the Indoor Retail Market must notify
the Public Way Use Unit, of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection,
immediately.
c.
Insurance
Insurance shall be provided by the Indoor Retail Market, for the sidewalk café, to indemnify the City.
All Indoor Retail Market participants serving liquor must provide dramshop insurance.
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SIDEWALK CAFÉ APPLICATION INFORMATION PACKAGE – 2017 SEASON
IMPORTANT NOTICE
Do You Need a Public Way Use Permit (Grant of Privilege)?
Any time public property is used by anyone, a Public Way Use (Grant of Privilege) permit is required. This applies
to space used above, below or on the public way by private entities.
Common Types of Public Way Uses
Canopies, light fixtures, awnings, signs, planters, bollards, bay windows, balconies, vaults, tunnels,
bridges, and other structures/items that encroach the public way require a permit; the term for these types of
permits are 5 years, and a new application must be made prior to their expiration date.
Sidewalk Cafés that are placed on the sidewalk require a Sidewalk Café permit. This permit has a 9 month term;
the Sidewalk Café season begins March 1 and extends to December 1 of each year. These permits must be
reapplied for every year.
Enforcement of Public Way Use Violations
All required permits are debts due to the City and must be in compliance. In addition, fines may be imposed and
the City may remove any items using the Public Way.
How to Apply for a Public Way Use Permit
Applications may be obtained from your Alderman’s office, at our website (www.cityofchicago.org/sbc and then
click on the “Public Way Use Permits” link in the “SBC RESOURCES” section), at the Small Business Center in
City Hall - Room 800, or by calling 312-74-GOBIZ.
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