Note: All conditions and restrictions below applied to the temporary outdoor patio space only.
This was a temporary program to support our local eateries, bars and residents. Outdoor patios established through this program needed to complete an initial five-day posting that notified the neighborhood of the dates the patio operated as well as subsequent postings as directed by the Department of Excise and Licenses. Language for a new posting was provided to businesses by Denver Excise and Licenses.
Hours of Operation
Outdoor patios opened under this program had to close by 10 p.m. on Sundays - Thursdays and by 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Allowed Uses of the Patio
Outdoor patios established under this program could only be used for sit-down dining or customer pick-up and carry-out service. Recorded ambient or background music and television was allowed on the extended patios if in compliance with Denver’s noise ordinance. If a business wanted to provide recorded music or televisions on the extended patio, they had to ensure the neighborhood was notified through a five-day posting. If a business was previously approved for an expanded patio and the posting did not indicate they would be having recorded or ambient music or televised sports, they had to re-post for five days before playing music or using TVs. The language for an updated posting was provided to businesses by Denver Excise and Licenses.
Expanded outdoor patios could not be used for:
- Standing areas
- Live music, entertainment or dancing
- Outdoor games
- Loudspeaker call systems
- Pets, except as provided in the Americans with Disabilities Act
Permits and Licenses
Permits were necessary for certain proposals, for instance closing streets or alleys. Proposals to operate exclusively on private property were often approved more quickly without needing permits.
Temporary furnishings and railings could be used if desired. On either public or private property, installing fences/barriers over 5'9" in height, constructing a patio covering, performing electrical work, erecting gas-fired temporary heating, or other similar construction work likely required building, fire or electrical permits. All furnishings and lighting had to be easily removed at the end of the program period.
Businesses that had a liquor license needed to submit additional documentation upon request in order to modify their existing liquor license with the city and state, AND needed to post public notice for five days prior to opening the new patio area. Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses submitted these applications to the state for expedited review. If Excise and Licenses received 15 written protests via U.S. mail or email to EXLapplications@Denvergov.org, a public hearing could have been required before approvals could be granted. This only applied to businesses that have a liquor license.
Sharing Patio Space
Businesses may not share outdoor premises unless they have also been approved for a Communal Outdoor Dining Area. Each establishment must maintain control of its operations and food and beverage service.
Additional COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements
Please consult the State of Colorado’s guidance for restaurants for additional requirements on social distancing, maximum capacity, cleaning protocols, and more.