Government & Politics  February 1, 2024

Boulder opens application window for outdoor–dining pilot program

BOULDER – Restaurant owners in Boulder can apply for three-year permits to participate in the city’s outdoor-dining pilot program through March 1.

Born out of the rapid expansion of outdoor dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, the program considers several factors including safety, accessibility, equity and operations. A total of 25 businesses are participating so far.

The program was designed by a staff stakeholder group represented by the city’s departments of Community Vitality, Transportation and Mobility, Planning and Development Services, Regulatory Licensing, and the City Attorney’s Office.

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The Boulder City Council voted unanimously in June 2022 to expand the program through Oct. 31, 2027, unless it’s extended further by subsequent council action.

Jake Novotny, owner of Jungle, a burger restaurant and rum bar at 2018 10th St., said the program helped his business thrive, adding that “300 days of sunshine per year means 300 opportunities to use our patio.

“Our streetside patio nearly doubled the square footage of our restaurant, bringing more money to our employees and more security for us during periods of cold weather and slower business,” he said. “Guests love our outdoor space, and we love to be able to work outside, too.”

The permit includes an annual revocable permit fee and a lease fee if the owner is leasing infrastructure from the city, as well as applicable licensing and permitting application fees.More information and instructions on how to apply are on the Outdoor Dining Pilot Program website.

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