00 - LA Al Fresco: Sidewalk Dining Program Rules and Guidelines

Revised on 08-31-2020

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mayor's Office has given the Bureau of Engineering the authority to issue the following programs:

  1. Sidewalk Dining Temporary Use Authority

For the Sidewalk Dining Temporary Use Authority, restaurant / business owners are allowed to request this Sidewalk Dining through the LA Al Fresco program.  If a Restaurant / Business Owner desires to maintain sidewalk dining privileges after this program terminates or desires additional amenities not allowed through the Program within the sidewalk area, it will be necessary to obtain a Revocable Permit per the 02-Sidewalk Dining Guidelines in this manual. For additional outside dining information including utilizing areas outside of the sidewalk area, please refer to the  LA Al Fresco website. 

Restaurant/Business Owners interested in applying for this Authority should go LA Al Fresco website to apply.

Sidewalk Dining Temporary Use Authority Program Requirements

Restaurant / Business Owner, or their authorized representative, will be required to complete an on-line request in order to participate in this program.  This program is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, unless further amended.  In addition to completing the online application, Restaurant / Business Owner must follow the requirements shown below:

  1. Hold Harmless: Restaurant / Business Owner agrees to defend, indemnify and hold the City of Los Angeles harmless for any loss or liability, including but not limited to, damage or injury related to the encroachments or this temporary authorization.
  2. Liability Insurance:  Restaurant / Business Owner shall maintain sufficient liability insurance in an amount not less than $300,000.  
  3. City Business License:  Restaurant / Business Owner shall possess a valid City of Los Angeles Business License.
  4. Maintenance of Area:  The sidewalk within or adjacent to the dining area shall be maintained in a clean and orderly manner at all times.  All food or drink spills, and trash of any kind, must be immediately removed from the sidewalk area.
  5. Encroachments: 
    1. Allowable (must be removed during non-business hours):
      1. Tables
      2. Chairs
      3. Umbrellas (must have a 7-foot minimum vertical clearance, shall not overhang the pedestrian access route, and shall be in a stable base to prevent accidental or wind-blown tipping over)
    2. Unallowable:  Any items not specifically listed in Section A as "Allowable" are not allowed under the Program (items below may be allowed by obtaining a Revocable Permit per the 02-Sidewalk Dining Guidelines).  These include the following:
      1. Planters 
      2. Railings/Fences/Barriers
      3. Awnings hanging above the sidewalk dining area (requires a LADBS building permit)
      4. Heaters
      5. Fans
      6. Drop down enclosures
      7. Signs (no advertising is allowed in the public right-of-way per LAMC 67.02 - Construction of Signs on Streets or Other Public Property)
      8. Podiums
  6. Location of Encroachments:  Allowable sidewalk dining encroachments (table, chairs, and umbrellas) shall be limited to the restaurant frontage only, unless business owner obtains written consent from adjoining business owner(s). 
  7. Placement of Encroachments:  Restrictions for tables, chairs, and umbrellas shall include:
    1. 5-foot wide pedestrian access route shall be maintained, generally utilizing the most passable portion of the sidewalk
    2. 5-foot distance from edge of driveway apron
    3. 24-inches from back of curb face
    4. 5-foot distance from any ADA ramp
    5. Bus Stops and Loading Zones shall not be impeded at any time.  No encroachments shall come within 6-feet of a public transportation purpose or loading zone
  8. Interference with Other Permitted/Authorized Activities: Restaurant / Business Owner agrees not to interfere with other permitted/authorized activities in the right of way adjacent to the property
  9. Other Requirements and Guidelines:  The sidewalk dining area shall comply with requirements and guidelines from the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Public Health, and all others as applicable.
  10. Alcohol:  Serving alcohol requires a Conditional Use Permit from the Department of City Planning and a permit from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control. Because alcohol falls under the jurisdiction of those entities and not the Board, sidewalk dining under this program will allow for serving or possessing alcohol within the sidewalk dining area provided proper permits and/or approvals are obtained for such use from the appropriate agencies. 
  11. Smoking:  No smoking is allowed within 10 feet of the sidewalk dining area per LAMC 41.50 A.5.a and B.2.c - Smoking Prohibited in Designated Areas
  12. Hollywood Walk of Fame Locations:  At all times, tables, chairs, and umbrellas shall stay clear a minimum of 18-inches away from the edge of the square that holds an honorees’ star
  13. Clear and Visible Posting of City-issued Identification:  Within the temporary outdoor dining area, the restaurant/business owner shall clearly and visibly post to the public identification indicating that the area is subject to the requirements and restrictions of the LA Al Fresco Program. This shall include a telephone number and an email address shall be provided for complaints or concerns regarding the operation of the temporary outdoor operations area.


Restaurant / Business Owner shall display/post the Sidewalk Dining Temporary Use Authority in plain view from the outside of the restaurant indicating participation in the program.   


This authorization may be revoked by the City at any time in its sole discretion for any reason including noncompliance, unsafe conditions, or discontinuation of the program.  If the authorization is revoked, the authority holder will be required, at no cost to the City, to remove the encroachments and return the public right-of-way to the satisfaction of the City Engineer.  

If the Restaurant / Business Owner desires to maintain outside dining privileges once the temporary authorization program ends, it will be necessary to obtain a Revocable Permit.