Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail in Parking Lots & Other Private Spaces

The City of Oakland is providing opportunities for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to utilize privately-owned outdoor areas, including parking lots, for outdoor dining and retail uses.

Overview

Photo of downtown Oakland City Center Plaza. Courtesy Aaron Lehmer-Chang.

The City of Oakland is providing opportunities for economic revitalization and community engagement through creative and flexible uses of privately-owned parking lots and other open outdoor areas. The initiative streamlines permitting requirements to provide additional space for Oakland restaurants and retail businesses to operate as allowed by modifications to Alameda County's Shelter-in-Place order.

Goals

  1. Support local restaurants and retailers:
    • Provide quick response to businesses who want to use privately-owned parking lots and other property areas to accommodate COVID-19 physical distance guidelines
  2. Support Oakland residents:
    • Increase outdoor activity for Oakland residents and visitors while maintaining physical distancing
    • Foster renewed community spirit, connection and engagement within Oakland neighborhoods
  3. Ensure and advance racial equity:
    • Advance racial equity for and prioritize vulnerable businesses of color
    • Ensure business owners receive necessary technical support to take advantage of proposed city initiatives
    • Reduce administrative barriers to participate in City program

Get Started

The application form for this initiative is below, along with links to the latest County Order and related resources. Get started right away by preparing the following:

  1. Prepare a Site Plan for your café or merchandise display
    Plan how many tables and chairs or display stands you can reasonably fit in the portion of the privately-owned parking lot or other private property area dedicated to such use without blocking any pedestrian path. Note any items currently in these spaces. Remember, you must keep six feet of pedestrian path clear for accessibility in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  2. Photograph your business
    Show all entrances to the business and the private outdoor areas, including parking lots, on the same or adjacent property. Take additional photos as needed.

  3. Guarantee social distancing and sanitary conditions
    It is essential that you have a plan, supplies, and staffing in place ahead of time to ensure the health and safety of your customers and your employees. Your plan should clearly state how you will clean and sanitize furniture and other high-touch areas after each use.

Outdoor Dining Requirements & Alcohol Sales

  • Outdoor seating arrangements must be limited to 6 people per table, all from same household or Social Bubble
  • Tables must be 6 feet apart
  • Entertainment events not allowed
  • Bars must remain closed to customers and alcohol may only be sold with a meal
  • Restaurant must comply with relevant laws, regulations and permitting requirements
  • Takeout and delivery options are strongly recommended
  • Alcohol sales:
    • Alameda County is not a Variance County at this time, and restaurants seeking a Temporary Catering Permit to serve alcohol outdoor from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may experience delays
    • Wineries with on-site restaurants may do tastings with food pairings outdoors
    • Brewpubs, breweries, bars, pubs, craft distilleries, and wineries that do not provide sit-down meals themselves can contract with another vendor to do so. The alcohol must be sold in the same transaction as a meal.
    • Bars must remain closed to the public, but may provide pickup/takeaway service with the sales of bona fide meals. These meals may be provided by an affiliate restaurant or by a food service provider that partners with the bar. Alcohol and meal delivery must occur in the same transaction at the same location.

Application Form

There is no charge for this application. Please submit your application, site plans and photos to permitinfo@oaklandca.gov.

Reopening Resources

Related Flex Streets Pages

Businesses may also apply to operate outdoor retail and dining in parking lanes, sidewalks, traffic lanes, and approved public properties under the City's Flex Streets initiative.

News

Contact Us

Address

Zoning Division

Map image for Temporary Outdoor Dining & Retail in Parking Lots & Other Private Spaces, located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
2nd Floor
Oakland, CA 94612

Phone Numbers

Email Address

permitinfo@oaklandca.gov