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Alfresco city: New outdoor dining opportunities released

Cafes, bars, theatres and restaurants could benefit from easier ways to serve customers outdoors.

Dear-Saint-Eloise 1-web

As part of our work to enliven our city this summer and beyond, we’re working with Liquor & Gaming NSW to help Sydney’s hospitality venues and theatres trade outdoors.

From 30 November 2020 to 31 October 2021, we’re trialling a new, fast-tracked application process for outdoor dining permits and offering new on-street dining opportunities.

We’re also waiving all fees for both new and existing outdoor dining permit holders.

Major changes and benefits for businesses:

  • No application fees
  • No rental fees
  • No security bond fees
  • Less hassle – no development application required for new approval requests for bars and pubs
  • More space - venues can apply to transform car parking space into outdoor dining and some venues may request more footpath space for customers. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis
  • More trading hours – in some cases trial periods for late-night trading hours will be waived and businesses will be able to trade as follows:
    • Late night management precincts – until 1am
    • City living precincts – until 11pm
    • Local centre precincts – until 10pm

This is subject to the business’s location and the trading hours specified in their development application.

Existing permit holders benefit too

They can apply to:

  • take over car parking space for outdoor dining
  • extend trading hours within those outlined in their development application
  • extend their outdoor dining area

If existing permit holders wish to extend their trading hours or expand their outdoor dining area, they can apply to amend their current permit free.

Applying to use car parking spaces for outdoor dining requires a separate permit.

Example of using car parking space for dining
Example of using car parking space for dining

Getting a permit for the first time

Venues that serve food for eating at the premises that don’t currently have a permit for outdoor dining, are encouraged to read our outdoor dining guidelines.

Venues without existing permits that want to apply to use car parking space for outdoor dining will need to apply for a standard outdoor dining permit and to take over the car parking space.

Running a safe outdoor dining area

The safety of our communities is key to this initiative.

All venues need to have a registered Covid-19 safety plan, electronic check-in system, and follow the latest public health orders.

Venues also need to comply with their usual liquor licence conditions, including approved patron capacity, and any terms that specifically apply to the outdoor area.

Find more information and apply

We’re keen to support venues explore their outdoor dining opportunities and make an application.

Read through the details and give us a call on 9265 9333 if you have any queries.

This initiative is brought to you by the NSW Government in association with the City of Sydney. We're working together to revitalise the city centre.

Published 30 November 2020, updated 14 February 2024