Mayor Walsh today announced the release of an updated ‘Winter Dining Guide’ designed for restaurants and bars in the City of Syracuse to safely and comfortably serve customers outdoors during winter months. The City is extending the season for outdoor café seating and allowing the placement of outdoor vestibules and enclosures through the winter.

“Syracuse has proven we are a city that embraces winter. When business and government work together, we can make it possible for people to enjoy outdoor dining all year long,” said Mayor Walsh. “Our updated guidelines allow restaurants and bars citywide to use the public right-of-way creatively to serve more customers.”

Click on the image to download a copy of the Winter Dining Guidelines and Updates

The City released an updated Winter Dining Guidelines and Updates handbook for business owners. It was developed in a partnership between the City’s Central Permit Office, Department of Public Works (DPW), and Department of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD) in consultation with local businesses. The guidelines also include portable outdoor gas-fired heating appliances (“patio heaters”) requirements issued by the Syracuse Fire Department. All cafe seating, parklets, or enclosure items require permits and proper documentation on file with DPW and the Central Permit Office. 

According to the new guidelines, restaurants and bars with approved outdoor sidewalk café permits can continue to offer outdoor café seating on sidewalks and the public right-of-way until further notice. Businesses are responsible for clearing all snow from their sidewalks around café seating and ensuring that pedestrians have a minimum 6’ (six feet) path clear of snow and ice at all times that café seating materials are set on the sidewalk.

The guidelines also allow businesses to continue the use of parklets, the outdoor seating areas in parking spaces outside establishments. DPW will request businesses remove and store the parklets for the season prior to the first major snow event.

To enable more outdoor seating, the guidelines allow the placement of temporary outdoor vestibules, membrane structures (domes, or other), and awnings installed no earlier than Oct. 15 and removed by Mar. 31 the following spring. Proper sidewalk space is required around the enclosures and snow clearance must be completed at all times.  DPW must review all plans and drawings.

Businesses are required to have proper approvals from the City and must contact the Central Permit Office at (315) 448-8600 to continue the use of café seating and parklets and to add outdoor enclosures in the right-of-way. Complete guidelines are available online at the City of Syracuse website.

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