Special Events and Expanded Outdoor Permits

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Outdoor dining

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2021 Expanded Outdoor Dining Application

Apply Online

(application works best in Google Chrome)  

Expanded Outdoor Dining FAQ (pdf)

Be Safe. Food Service Guidelines (pdf)

This new permit has been created specifically for temporary outdoor service for bars on restaurants on the public way or private property.

Individual, fully-licensed food and/or liquor establishments may apply to temporarily use private property to extend service space, where proper social distancing and adherence to public health guidelines are observed.

Individual establishments that serve liquor only may apply to use the sidewalk space in front of or immediately adjacent to their establishment. Six feet of pedestrian access must be maintained, and barriers must be placed around outdoor service areas on the sidewalk. Retail Food Establishments should use the sidewalk café permit to operate on the sidewalk – learn more here.

Applications for street closure will be accepted from Chambers of Commerce, SSAs, Business Associations, or a minimum of three (3) establishments (on a contiguous city block) applying together. At least 50 percent of participating establishments must serve food. Applicant(s) may request full street closure (maintaining a 14-foot fire lane) or use of private property, as long as:

  • Establishments only allow outdoor dining and drinking;
  • Seating is for parties of 10 (ten) persons or fewer;
  • Food and drinks are prepared inside the licensed establishments;
  • The proper social distancing of six (6) feet between customers is observed; and
  • Health guidelines set by public health officials are followed.

There is no processing fee to submit the application for any Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit.


2021 Online Special Event Permit Application

(Not Required for Expanded Outdoor Dining Application )

In accordance with Reopen Chicago Phase IV, DCASE will begin reviewing Special Events applications for outdoor festivals, street and art/craft fairs and athletic events. Events must follow the State of Illinois Outdoor Markets and Festival Guidelines. Please note attendance capacity limits based on event square footage. These limits will be reassessed on an ongoing basis in Phase IV. Permit approval is conditional on improved public health metrics.

Special Event Permits will be issued but are subject to change based on updated health and safety guidelines from either the City of Chicago or State of Illinois. All events must follow guidelines in place at the time of the event.

Contact SEPermits@cityofchicago.org with any questions.

Apply Online

(application works best in Google Chrome)

Please review the Special Event Permit Application Guide for guidance.

Outdoor events held in the City of Chicago must complete a Special Event Permit Application if the event

  • Will close City streets (street closures are not allowed for private events);
  • Will prepare Food on a public street/sidewalk or private property (open to the public);
  • Will serve alcohol;
  • Will sell merchandise;
  • Have tent(s) larger than 20 ft. x 20 ft. (400 sq. ft.); OR
  • Have stage(s) taller than 2 ft.

Bar Crawls must also complete an application if the event

  • Expects to exceed 500 participants;
  • Includes 5 or more stops/participating establishments; OR
  • Includes 3 or more stops/participating establishments on the same street block.

DCASE Processing Fee:
The processing fee for a Special Event Permit Application starts at $100 if submitted more than 60 days before the start of the event. The fee increases if submitted closer to the event. Applications may be submitted up to 180 days prior to the event and must be submitted at least 14 days prior to the start of the event.

  • $100 (60+ days before event)
  • $200 (59-45 days before event)
  • $500 (44-30 days before event)
  • $1,000 (29-22 days before event)
  • $2,000 (21-14 days before event)

Applications will NOT be accepted less than 14 days

Events taking place on Chicago Park District property require an additional Park District Special Event Permit