The City of Tulsa encourages the formation and use of Sidewalk Cafés and Tables & Chairs to stimulate the pedestrian realm with activity As a result, this activity strengthens the concept of the 24-hour urban core from Tulsa’s Comprehensive Plan, as well as enhancing major dining locations around the city. Sidewalk Cafés and Tables & Chairs areas add vitality to the street by encouraging walking and thus promoting the local economy.
These programs move away from the License Agreement Process, which used to be the only way to create a sidewalk café-like area within the public right-of-way. Now, the City of Tulsa is able to offer a more efficient review and permitting process through a citywide ordinance establishing the Sidewalk Café and Tables & Chairs Permit Programs. What’s the major difference between the License Agreement Process and these two permit programs? The answer is time. The City’s Planning Department will issue a permit decision within 30 days from receiving a complete application, contrary to the sometimes lengthy License Agreement Process. It should be noted that those sidewalk café areas previously approved through the License Agreement Process are automatically “grandfathered” in to the new programs.
Please review the program manual before submitting application materials.
Sidewalk Café vs. Tables & Chairs
A Sidewalk Café is defined as fenced-in open-air seating located on a sidewalk directly adjacent to a business. A Sidewalk Café allows for food and beverages to be served outside the establishment through seating that is used exclusively for the business’ patrons. Tables & Chairs areas are created by setting tables and chairs outside and adjacent to a place of business, similar to Sidewalk Cafes. However, Tables & Chairs areas utilize end barriers rather than fencing. And unlike Sidewalk Cafés, a Tables & Chairs area does not offer table service and is available for public use. As seen in the graphic above, there are also dimensional differences between the two permit types. For a complete understanding of the requirements for each permit type, please review the Program Manual.
To submit an application, please go to:
City of Tulsa Permitting Center
175 E. 2nd St., 4th Floor | Tulsa, OK 74103