Sidewalk Cafe License
This license is for food establishments, such as a restaurant or a coffee shop, that wish to provide outdoor seating for patrons on the public sidewalk which immediately adjoins the licensed premises. In addition to this license, a Public Works Obstruction Permit must also be obtained, to allow the tables and chairs to be placed in the public right–of-way. The application for both the Sidewalk Cafe License and the Obstruction Permit Supplemental License Application for Sidewalk Seating
is submitted to (DSI) Department of Safety & Inspections. If you have questions, contact DSI at (651) 266-8989, or email the DSI Message Center
The placement of furnishings related to the sidewalk café must meet specific requirements as found under Chapter 106
of the Saint Paul Legislative Code.
A summary of these requirements is explained in the Sidewalk Café Site Plan Standards
handout, and illustrated on the example site plan
drawing. The general intent of these requirements is to provide a clear unobstructed pedestrian walk through zone (minimum 48 inch width, exclusive of the curb), positioned to minimize interference with pedestrian traffic, and not interfere with emergency exiting from the building. The location for the placement of any furnishings must be approved by the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Public
Works prior to placing any items on the public sidewalk.
If alcohol service is proposed on the public sidewalk Liquor Outdoor Service Area (Sidewalk),
there are additional requirements to be met before the sidewalk café license can be issued.
• A completed application form
• A site plan of the proposed sidewalk cafe area
• For liquor outdoor service, include consent petition of residences and apartment houses within 300 feet of the location.
• A Certificate of Insurance with general liability of at least $500,000 that states that the coverage extends to the area used for the sidewalk café and that the City of Saint Paul is named as an additional insured.
• Required fees (annual fee per location) is $33.00 for the Sidewalk Cafe License and $53.00 for the Public Works Obstruction Permit.
Service Availability Charge (SAC)
The addition of seating provided in the outdoor seating area is subject to a Service Availability Charge (SAC) review by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES). This is a one time fee (separate from the permit or license fee) that each municipality in the seven county metro area must collect for new connections or anticipated volume discharge into the wastewater system at the time of permit or license issuance. See below for the Met Council contact and information about obtaining a SAC determination. http://www.metrocouncil.org/environment/RatesBilling/SAC_Program.htm
This license requires inspection approvals from DSI Licensing, (Ph: (651) 266-8989), and Public Works (Ph: (651) 266-6151). Food cannot be prepared outdoors without approval from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), (Ph: (651) 201-4500).
A Sidewalk Cafe License will expire on the same date your general liability insurance expires and may be renewed annually.
The Public Works Obstruction Permit is only valid from April 1st to October 31st of each year.
You must obtain a new permit in January of each year that you intend to place furnishings related to a sidewalk cafe on the public sidewalk.