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Flower City

Winter Sidewalks

Let’s get creative with Rochester’s outdoor spaces!

 

Some restaurants and bars may find it challenging to maintain safe distances between customers while accommodating enough customers to stay in business through the winter months. To tackle that problem, businesses all over the country are using temporary structures like greenhouses, igloos, tents, and custom builds to provide a unique dining experience during these challenging times.

 

The City of Rochester wants to help businesses as they work toward providing outdoor winter seating, whether it is on sidewalks and streets or on private property. If you are interested in having outdoor seating, ALL PERMIT FEES WILL BE WAIVED.

 

We encourage interested businesses to apply for participation as soon as possible. Below are the different options available to restaurants and bars, including links to permit applications. 

 

Guidelines to consider before applying: 

 

Ready to apply for an outdoor dining permit?

 

Option 1. Public Right-of-Way: Sidewalk Café Permit

Certain portions of the public right-of-way, including on-street parking lanes and areas adjacent to sidewalks such as tree lawns, may be temporarily converted to outdoor seating for adjacent businesses. Please visit the City’s Right-of-Way Permits site if you’re interested and apply for a Sidewalk Café Permit. While this is not a new permit type, due to the current health restrictions in place, the City is waiving the permit fees and has included additional stipulations related to social distancing. Safe and accessible pedestrian and wheelchair traffic will need to be accommodated.

 

Once the required information is submitted, City staff will follow up quickly with any modifications or revisions to ensure that you are in compliance.

 

 

Current locations:

Railroad St at Black Button, Rohrbach's, Boxcar, and Bitter Honey

Check back for updates!

 

 

Option 2. Private Property: Enclosed Accessory Outdoor Area Permit

This is a new option to allow restaurants and bars to use their parking area or other spaces on their property for outdoor seating. To allow businesses to utilize parking lots, requirements for a minimum number of parking spaces are temporarily being waived for applicants. There is no fee for applying.

 

Once the required information is submitted, City staff will follow up quickly with any modifications or revisions to ensure that you are in compliance.

 

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Current locations:

Check back for updates!

Need temporary, outdoor "greenhouses" for your restaurant?

 

The City of Rochester is working on a program for providing temporary, outdoor “greenhouses” that would allow for outdoor seating during the colder months.

 

The proposed structures are anticipated to be 8 ft. long by 8 ft. wide, by 8.5 ft. high.

Restaurants should complete the survey linked here (bit.ly/3lirvn3) to let us know if this is a program you may be interested in.

More information to come!

 

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