Sidewalk Cafés on the 16th Street Mall

The Downtown Denver BID leases the use of the 16th Street Mall right-of-way for the use of Sidewalk Cafés adjacent to restaurants. Restaurants wishing to apply for a Sidewalk Café permit have a specific set of rules and regulations determined by the BID and the City and County of Denver that they must follow in order to use the right-of-way for the Sidewalk Cafes.

In order to obtain a license for a Sidewalk Café, an application must be submitted to Pamela Sellden at An application should include anticipated start date, number of tables planned for the seating area and a $25 application fee. With the application, submit a scale drawing of the proposed fence, including color and material that will be used. Include a scale drawing of any proposed signs for the seating area, a map showing exact dimension of the seating area and attach a letter of support from the property owner.


The application and required documents will be submitted to the Mall Use Committee for approval. The committee meets the third Thursday of each month. Within one week of the meeting, you will be notified of approval status.


To read the 16th Street Mall Sidewalk Cafe Design Standards Guide, please click here.

  • Determination by the Manager of Public Works that the operation will not impeded pedestrian or transit traffic.
  • The requirement that operation shall meet all city and state requirement for licensing and operation.
  • The requirement that sidewalk cafe permittee shall install and maintain the following elements within the sidewalk cafe area in good and attractive condition: well-designed chairs and tables, including umbrellas (of a color chosen by the permittee, but all of the same color) installed on the tables closest to the perimeter of the cafe area, a simple architectural railing around the open perimeter of the cafe area, which shall be sturdy in weight and design and capable of standing by itself and shall not be affixed to the surface of the Mall and adequate trash receptacles (of a compatible color) within the perimeter of the cafe area.
  • Umbrellas shall not be required where tables are sheltered by awnings attached to building walls.
  • A 10’ clearance must be maintained between the railing and curb.
  • All railing bases must have a protective mat underneath.

All elements installed and maintained by the permitted shall be subject to reasonable design and maintenance review by the Mall Use Committee of the BID, which shall advise the Manager of Public Works of its recommendations.

Timing and Pricing:

The committee meets the third Thursday of each month. Within one week of the meeting, you will be notified of approval status.

The pricing for a Sidewalk Café is based on square footage and CPI. The square footage formula is:

$4,174.81 – first 150 sq. ft.
$13.92/sq. ft. for additional 300 sq. ft.
$6.96/additional sq. ft. after 450 sq. ft.