Special Events and Expanded Outdoor Permits

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COVID-19 Update

The City has indicated that Chicago's key health metrics are on track to allow for a transition from Phase 2 (Stay at Home) to Phase 3 (Cautiously Reopen) in early June. This means that some of our department’s services will resume or increase operations when we transition into this next phase. We are working to create specific guidance so that we can provide more details as to what services we will be able to provide either online or in-person in Phase 3. This will include details such as how to engage in healthy interactions between workers and residents, how to maintain safe working spaces and conditions and how to design and monitor workplace operations to create flexibility and further safety for employees and residents.

Please refer to the Chicago Department of Public Heath’s website, chicago.gov/coronavirus, for the latest local updates on the response to COVID-19.


Outdoor dining

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2020 Expanded Outdoor Dining Application

Application will be posted on Monday, June 1, 2020

Be Safe. Food Service Guidelines (pdf)

This new permit has been created specifically for temporary Phase 3 (Cautiously Reopen) outdoor dining.

Existing, fully-permitted restaurants and food establishments may apply to temporarily use streets and private property to extend dining space, where proper social distancing and adherence to public health guidelines are observed.

Applications will be accepted from Chambers of Commerce, SSA, Business Associations or a minimum of 3 establishments (on a contiguous city block) applying together for full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants and nonalcoholic beverage bars to serve food, beverages and liquor for consumption. Applicant(s) may request full street closure (maintaining a 12’ fire lane) or use of private property, as long as:

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

There is no processing fee to submit the application


2020 Online Special Event Permit Application

Apply Online

(application works best in Google Chrome)
Please review the Special Event Application PowerPoint 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 serve food on a public street or sidewalk;
  • Will serve alcohol;
  • 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 more than 5 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 (29-15 days before event)
  • NO applications are accepted less than 14 days before the event

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


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