Now is the Time To Start Applying for Sidewalk Cafe Permits in Chicago

I wanted to just drop a quick note and reminder to say that even though it's freezing outside, it's time to start thinking about sidewalk cafes for the 2017 season. The City just let me know that applications are available today. The season starts on March 1st and ends on December 1st.

Anything in the public way or above the public way, or the sidewalk, needs a permit. That means that sidewalk cafes, lights, signs, and the like need to be permitted. These permits last only a year and need to be reapplied for every year.

It's a good thing that the applications are out now. New applications can be tricky and time consuming. Drawings and photos are required. The alderman has to sign off. The correct insurance policies must be obtained (and what the permit department wants is different than what is required for food and liquor licensing). It can take multiple trips to City Hall. After the application is filed, City Council must approve it, too, so the permit is not instantly granted. It can take up to a month before City Council meets again to approve the application.

Let's get going and plan for a productive summer.

Contact License Law Group for assistance.

by Daniel Rubinow, Principal Attorney

License Law Group


Daniel Rubinow