Baltimore City to Continue Outdoor Dining Street Closure and Seating Programs

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425


Sydney Burns
(443) 610-5862

[email protected]


BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, May 19, 2021) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Councilman Eric T. Costello, and Downtown Partnership president Shelonda Stokes announced the extension of Baltimore City’s Outdoor Dining Street Closure and Outdoor Seating Relief programs. Both initiatives were launched last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow restaurants to request permission to offer outdoor dining accommodations in the City's public right-of-way.

“Small businesses are the backbone of a healthy Baltimore economy and our road to recovery must run through them. The Outdoor Dining Street Closure and the Outdoor Seating Relief programs are a great way for Baltimore restaurants to expand their capacity outdoors while offering a safe, enjoyable dining experience for patrons,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott.

Restaurants may continue applying online for two types of programs: Program 1 for outdoor sidewalk dining is approved by DHCD and Program 2 for streets and parking lanes closures is approved by BCDOT. The applications through BCDOT are for restaurants and licensed food establishments that want to begin operations on open spaces, whether on public space or private property.

 “Baltimore’s innovative outdoor dining programs helped carry many of our restaurants through the pandemic as they looked for safe and creative ways to continue their operations,” said Councilman Eric T. Costello. “Mayor Scott’s decision to extend these programs will better position our restaurants to continue contributing to a successful economic recovery for our City.”

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore president Shelonda Stokes added, “If there was a bright spot in the past year it’s the way our communities and City government came together to help local businesses, and create new ways to activate public space. This is particularly useful in older communities where there aren’t patios or wide sidewalks to easily add outdoor dining.”

Application Process

Restaurants seeking a permit for outdoor seating can apply online with the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development.  Restaurants seeking a permit requiring partial or full street closures and/or closure of parking lanes for the purposes of outdoor dining should apply with the Baltimore City Department of Transportation.  

Program 1- Outdoor Seating Relief Program: Restaurants that do not currently have outdoor seating or wish to extend their existing outdoor seating on the sidewalk in front or side of their property may apply online for a permit.  Federal ADA requirements must still be followed for any extension.  Applicants may apply by visiting the City's e-permits website, logging in, and selecting the category for ‘Outdoor Seating – Temporary’ to apply.  Approval information will be provided within seven business days. Questions regarding this permit can be directed to the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development at [email protected]

Program 2- Outdoor Dining Street Closure Program: The Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) is now accepting online applications that allow restaurants to apply for public space permits requiring partial or full street closures and/or the closure of parking lanes for the purposes of outdoor dining.  Applicants should submit a request online for the Outdoor Dining Street Closure Program by filling out the online form and submitting it to BCDOT's Special Events Division.  Approval information will be provided within seven business days. Questions regarding this permit can be emailed to [email protected].

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