Miami restaurants can still apply for an outdoor café temporary permit through the Restaurant Recovery Program
In an effort to help Miami restaurants regain financial stability after the setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Miami created the Restaurant Recovery Program, which allows restaurants to apply for a temporary permit for an outdoor café, to add or expand outdoor seating areas. The program is available until January 1st 2021, pending a possible extension by the City of Miami.
Businesses that are allowed to apply for the Restaurant Recovery Program include those whose primary function, in a non-emergency situation, is the preparation of food and which has a valid City of Miami Certification of Use for “restaurant” or “food service establishment”. Bars serving food are not permitted to apply.
The outdoor permit applies to different kinds of outdoor space, including private property and public rights of way (ROW). Private property includes private walkways, and parking and driving areas. These areas must be adjacent to the establishment and have the permission of the owner to be used.
Public rights of way include sidewalks and on-street parking, roads or traffic lanes closed by the City of Miami, City or County mandated rights of way, and some state managed rights of way, although the latter is limited. Other potential locations for the outdoor cafes can be presented and reviewed on a case by case basis.
To apply for the Restaurant Recovery Program, businesses must be prepared to send documents with their application, some of which include but are not limited to a business tax receipt, an alcohol license number, proof of insurance, and a proof of general liability insurance. Businesses should also prepare a description of the proposed outdoor seating expansion by describing the design concept, intended use, furniture that will be used, and a maintenance plan. To apply, click here.
The City of Miami aims to issue permits within 48 hours of the receipt of the application. While there is no cost to obtain the outdoor café temporary permit, businesses are responsible for the cost of any barricades, delineators and other materials needed to establish a safe outdoor café that follows the necessary guidelines. However, the City of Miami notes that the Downtown Development Agency and Business Improvement Districts are working with businesses to assist with the cost of these procurements.
For more detailed information about the program and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the City of Miami website.