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Dozens of businesses submit proposals for Denver's restaurant patio expansion program

As restaurants reopen under new guidelines due to COVID-19, Denver's new program will allow them to expand outdoor seating in parking lots and public rights-of-way.

DENVER — As restaurants across Colorado begin to open for in-house dining under the state's safer-at-home guidelines, many are looking at ways to expand outdoor dining.

In Denver, the city created a temporary program to allow restaurants and bars to operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses, the city's website says. The program aims to allow for greater physical distancing and safety for patrons now that the state’s public health orders allow restaurants and bars to resume sit-down service. Proposals could include expansion into designated outdoor areas such as adjacent parking lots, streets and sidewalks. 

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The city said 41 businesses submitted simple proposals that are allowed under this program without requiring city permits/approvals. A city spokesperson aid an example of this type of business would be a coffee shop with no liquor license that could expand into their private parking lot with permission of the property owner. Those businesses are: 

  • Mockery Brewing
  • Factotum Brewhouse
  • Miller Coors/Blue Moon Brewery
  • Goldspot Acquisitions LLC DBA Goldspot Brewing Company
  • Denver Beer Co
  • Butcher Block Cafe
  • Black Shirt Brewing Co
  • Little Machine
  • Antojitos la poblanita
  • Bird
  • Uno Mas
  • Uno Mas Taqueria
  • Pete's Kitchen
  • Patterns & Pops
  • 3610 West
  • The Corner Beet Cherry Creek
  • Torpedo Coffee
  • Rye Society
  • Clean Juice, Cherry Creek
  • Sapor Coffee & Concepts
  • Cheers Coffee Shop
  • Alpine Dog Brewing Co
  • Capital T Inc
  • Baghdad Restaurant
  • Cutter Restaurant Group LLC/Corner Bakery Café
  • FlyteCo Brewing
  • Ratio Beerworks
  • Ranch House Cafe
  • Breakfast King
  • Fiction Beer Company
  • Famous pizza and subs
  • Butcher Block Cafe
  • RiNo Art District and RiNo Business Improvement District
  • Uno Mas Taqueria
  • TCC Enterprises LLC DBA Off Broadway Cafe
  • Counter Culture Brewery + Grille
  • el taco veloz
  • Sweetgreen
  • VCG Restaurants Denver, Inc.
  • Ghost Coffee Saloon
  • Hidden Gems

In addition, the city said six locations have received final approval from the city and can open when they are ready:

  • The Dive Inn
  • Tivoli Brewing Company Taphouse
  • Bierstadt Lagerhaus
  • My Brother's Bar
  • The Owl Saloon
  • The Dam Grille Sports & Tap Room

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An additional 13 locations have received a street occupancy permit to expand into the public right-of-way and are likely in the process of opening, which could include setting up outdoor furniture and railings, or completing the mandatory 5-day waiting period required of businesses that hold a state liquor license, the city said. Those businesses are: 

  • Berkeley Inn
  • Nugs Diner
  • Rita’s Law
  • Jack Rabbit Slim
  • Wet Whistle
  • Coohills
  • The One Group/STK Denver
  • Mockery Brewing
  • Just Be Kitchen
  • American Elm
  • Jax Fish House
  • Broadway Roxy
  • Blue Island Oyster Bar

About 60% of applicants are under review or the city is working with the applicant to secure documents required to process their request.

About 9% are working to complete the inspections associated with their applications; however, some inspections were delayed as a result of the protests downtown, the city said.

And about 30% of applicants the city has reached out to have not yet taken the necessary next steps to continue the process, the city said. Many are no longer pursuing temporary patio expansions because:

  • They initially applied when they thought the governor would not allow indoor dining at all and they thought outdoor dining was their only option. Now that the governor is allowing indoor dining, they are only doing indoor at 50% or doing indoor and their currently existing patios.
  • They are no longer planning on reopening at all.
  • They are now just working on complying with the state order (marking floors, re-training employees, tearing down self-service stations, revamping their bathrooms, purchasing single-serve condiments, disposable menus) and will turn their focus to outdoor expansion later
  • Other reasons

>> More information and links to submit proposals can be found on the city's website

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