License Type

Outdoor Seating and Sales Application


New application for businesses interested in outdoor seating and sales areas on public and private property. Expires November 30, 2021.

More Information

This application is for businesses interested in outdoor seating and sales areas on public (parking spaces, sidewalks, alleys, etc.) and private property. This license expires on November 30, 2021. This application replaces the former Sidewalk Café Application and Mobile Vending Application.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What type of site plan or drawing is required for outdoor seating on the application? A drawing or site plan showing the proposed layout of tables, chairs, railings, changes in sidewalk slope and any other obstructions to be placed or existing on the sidewalk or public right-of-way, showing not less than 4’ of unobstructed clearance to the sidewalk or public right-of-way, and showing not less than 3’ from a change in sidewalk slope. Click this link for an example drawing.
  • What type of clearance is required from the café to the sidewalk or public right-of-way? You must maintain a 4’ clearance from the back of the patio rail or planter boxes to the edge of all tree wells, light poles, meters, street signs, benches and garbage containers. Umbrellas and attachments must not hang beyond the café railings when fully open.
  • My business sells alcohol for consumption in my outdoor seating area is MLCC approval required? If your liquor license does not include an Outdoor Service permit you must submit a written request with diagram of proposed service area and $70 inspection fee to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. If all other licensing requirements are met, you will be issued a temporary sidewalk café license in order to obtain your MLCC Outdoor Service Permit, which must be submitted to the Clerk’s Office prior to operating the outdoor seating area.
  • My business has outdoor seating on Woodward Avenue, does MDOT need to approve the application? Yes, MDOT requires a permit for sidewalk cafe's on Woodward Avenue and a license agreement for temporary enclosures. Required documents are available for download here. Once you have filled out the necessary sections, you will send the documents and detailed plan to Stacy Gough at
  • Where am I permitted to park a licensed food truck, push cart, or kiosk as a mobile vendor? City Council temporarily suspended the location restrictions for mobile vending until November 30, 2021. If a mobile vendor is interested in leasing a parking space, that request will be considered by the City on the application.
  • Will this permit apply to food trucks, push carts, or kiosks during special events? This permit is not valid during any special event dates. Vendors should apply directly with the special event for the sale of products during the dates and times of the event only.

Contact Information

Kathy McClintic
Community & Economic Development

Ext. 115




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