Denver Extends Outdoor Patio Expansion Program through October 31, Allows for Limited Entertainment Options

July 16, 2020

The City and County of Denver announced today, July 16th, it is extending its program allowing restaurants and eligible bars the ability to create outdoor consumption areas amid COVID-19. The program that was slated to end September 7 will now run through October 31.

This extension aligns with the Downtown Denver Partnership’s letter to Mayor Hancock  – which followed a month of close collaboration between the Partnership, City leadership and downtown businesses – urging him and his administration to consider allowing an expedited permitting process for outdoor expansion for businesses from Memorial Day to October 31. In accordance with this effort, the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, which permits cafe space on the 16th Street Mall, has allowed for expanded patio cafes on the 16th Street Mall and has temporarily waived all associated fees.

In addition to the timing, restaurants and bars will be allowed to add recorded ambient or background music and television to their outdoor serving area if it does not disturb the neighborhood. There is a required five-day posting to allow neighborhood input for all restaurants and bars wanting to extend their participation in the program or add recorded music or televised programming.

“Denver’s Outdoor Patio Expansion Program and its success is a strong example of Denver’s commitment to vibrant public spaces to the benefit of business and people alike,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “The Partnership is proud to have helped shape the Program’s vision and we are look forward to seeing even more added vibrancy through its duration.”

Denver’s program is one of the most successful in the nation, with 273 restaurants and bars approved to expand their serving capacity outdoors. In-restaurant dining in Denver appears to be slightly outperforming the national average. According to OpenTable data, in-restaurant dining was down 62% nationwide from last year due to the pandemic, while in-person dining in Denver is down 56%.

Downtown and downtown-adjacent streets that are currently closed under this program include:

  • Larimer Street between 14th and 15th (downtown);
  • Glenarm Place at Denver Pavilions between 15th and 16th (downtown);
  • 25th Street between Larimer and Lawrence (RiNo);
  • 35th street between Wazee and Wynkoop (RiNo);
  • And Larimer Street between 27th and 28th and 29th and 30th (RiNo).

Interested businesses are encouraged to learn more about apply online here. Denver will continue to offer process navigators to provide individual customer service to businesses as they navigate the process in applying or extending their outdoor expansion. Business owners can send questions about the program via email to