Outdoor patio seating is taking off at Denver restaurants – don’t forget to obtain your permit through Denver Public Works to continue to offer this fabulous amenity to your patrons!
Outdoor seating has become an integral part of the restaurant/bar/nightclub experience in Denver. Most establishments find excellent value in the addition of tables and chairs on a patio, as patrons naturally gravitate towards the views and outstanding Colorado weather offered in open air seating areas. Google even has a distinct category for “Outdoor Dining,” as does Open Table.
Outdoor seating areas require a permit.
Holding a permit for your outdoor space means that you have followed the City’s rules regarding the existence of an outdoor seating area adjacent to your establishment. *The type of permit necessary for outdoor seating is a “Tables, Chairs and Railings” permit, or a “TCR” permit.
The “TCR” permit simply ensures best practices.
For example, the “TCR” permit requires certain common-sense practices that will protect your patrons and the public, such as ensuring that railings define the space and are bolted into the ground so that chairs and tables aren’t a danger to people during high winds or flooding; secured railings also create boundaries for the space containing the tables and chairs so that people can easily walk down the sidewalk, including those who have strollers and those in wheelchairs…when there are no railings, street furniture can “wander” onto the sidewalk, creating obstacles for those trying to pass. Further, it’s important to have consistency among all outdoor seating areas across the City.
Because of the growing popularity of outdoor seating areas, we realize that business owners may not even realize that they need a permit for this kind of outdoor space. Our hope is to help you with this process so that you are in full compliance with the City’s regulations.
Fees and application process:
New applications can take as many as 15 days to process to allow time for a field inspection of the proposed new location by a City Inspector. The initial processing fee of $150 (non-refundable) is due at the time of application, and there is an annual fee of $100.00 per location. Renewal of existing TCR permits generally can be done on a walk-thru basis (some exceptions apply). In both cases, a Certificate of Insurance for the location is required. New and renewing applicants see the links at top of this page for complete information, including a checklist of required documents.
More information and details on “TCR” permits:
303-446-3759, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
*If an establishment is located on the 16th Street Mall, requests for permits for businesses to have patio seating are made to the Department of Public Works through the Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District (DDPBID). More information is available through Suzi Pittman with the DDBID at Spittman@DowntownDenver.com.