City of Denver Allows Expanded Patios Through 2021

Restaurants and bars can request now an extension on their expanded patio through January or February.

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Sidewalk in downtown Denver with covered restaurant patios and Colorado state flags.
It's patio season all year round (until October 2021, at least) in Denver. / arinahabich © 123RF.com

On September 29, Denver announced it’s extending its outdoor dining program through October 2021; the plan was originally scheduled to end October 31, 2020. Restaurants and bars with temporary patios that do not impact the public right of way can request a 120-day extension, which gives them the ability to continue to seat customers outdoors through Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Businesses with seating that does extend into the right of way can request a 90-day extension which ends Friday, January 29, 2021. And in new rules, businesses participating in the program who decide they need to pivot (that word, ugh) again, can request additional extensions after the initial 120- or 90-day extension.

Check out the city’s lengthy FAQ on the temporary outdoor dining program, which addresses public posting requirements (questions 21 and 48), permit help (questions 40 through 42), and snow removal (question 51, although the short answer is that businesses are responsible for clearing all snow on the patio—including seating set up in parking lanes—as well as any snow that the city’s plows throw into the expanded seating area).

While there’s not cost for an extension, you’ll still have to push some paper around. Visit Denver’s website for instructions on applying for an extension. (The rules are different depending on whether your seating encroaches the right of way). You can send questions about the program to tempexpand@denvergov.org.

Let us know if you’re up for taking on extra snow removal this winter, and whether the extension of this program is really going to benefit you. Email your experiences (and thoughts, opinions, and questions—anything, really) to askus@diningout.com

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