Mayor Hancock Announces Temporary Outdoor Expansions for Restaurants and Bars

May 18, 2020

Today, Monday, May 18th, Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced that Denver is creating a temporary program that will give restaurants, bars, and similar businesses options to operate in outdoor spaces adjacent to their businesses, including sidewalks, streets, and adjacent parking lots.

“Business owners need time to prepare for re-opening, and we want to set them up for success as soon as dine-in becomes permissible again.” said Mayor Hancock on Twitter, “We also want to ensure it’s safe for employees and customers to return to these businesses when that time comes.”

This announcement follows the Downtown Denver Partnership’s discussions with City officials on this matter since early April, and its issuance of a letter to Mayor Hancock urging him to consider rapid street activation to ensure retail and restaurant businesses the ability to open while offering customers space to social distance. Citing the need to be bold and innovative in approaching the re-opening of restaurants and bars, the letter proposed a pilot period during which specified spans of streets – such as Glenarm Place and Larimer Street downtown; Tennyson Street in Berkeley; and Pearl Street in Platt Park – would be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic.

“We are in a time of tremendous opportunity to think creatively about how we keep people safe and make them feel safe,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “We thank Mayor Hancock for his bold, swift leadership in ensuring businesses can open both safely and successfully.”

Denver businesses interested in taking part in this program are encouraged to visit this webpage to submit a proposal for review. Considerations for every proposal must include plans and accommodations for safety, mobility, and local and emergency access. Eligible businesses for this program include restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption.

16th Street Mall restaurants who are interested in a new or expanded sidewalk café will be processed through the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District. Applicants are asked to express interest by filling out this form and, in doing so, to please note whether their application is for a new or expanded space.

Once approved, this program will be available to eligible businesses for the duration of the outdoor summer dining season through September 7, 2020, at which time the city may evaluate a potential extension of the program.

*Updated 11/12/2020*

The Temporary Outdoor Expansions Program will now run through October 2021.

To learn more about this program, visit the City of Denver’s website