Outdoor seating at Woody's in downtown Raleigh

Outdoor Seating

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Streetery Sidewalk Seating Outdoor Seating Permit Process Outdoor Seating Guide

The City of Raleigh's Outdoor Seating Program transforms the public right-of-way to accommodate different needs of all users of the public realm. Outdoor seating allows activation of streets, sidewalks and plazas by providing pedestrian amenities, supporting local businesses and fostering community interactions. While outdoor seating enlivens the pedestrian environment, it must be designed to allow unimpeded pedestrian passage around or through them.

Outdoor seating is a portion of adjacent city sidewalks or parking spaces operated by restaurants, bars or other businesses. The outdoor seating space is privately managed by the business and open for use by its customers during business hours. To determine the type of Outdoor Seating Permit that is best for your business, please review the Outdoor Seating Guide.

The ordinance regulating outdoor seating is a city-wide ordinance.
For more information view the ADOPTED ORDINANCE.


A streetery converts on-street parking spaces and is typically located outside of a business. Streeteries provide outdoor seating for the patrons of the business during its hours of operation.

City-funded streetery

City staff allocated American Rescue Plan Act funding to build streeteries and lessen the burden of cost for businesses. A city-funded streetery will include the construction and installation of a platform and walls. The business can supplement the structure with tables, chairs and décor. The initiative will be offered until funding is no longer available. 

Custom, private funded streetery

For Raleigh business owners interested in building a custom streetery at their own expense, design standards and guidelines for the structure are detailed in the Outdoor Seating Guide. 

When applying for a Streetery Permit, applicants will select which streetery option is desired. 


A parklet converts on-street parking spaces into a vibrant, community space that is open to the public at all times. Parklets do not service any particular business. 

For more information on streetery and parklet location standards, operational requirements and permit provisions, read the Outdoor Seating Guide.

Sidewalk Seating

Sidewalk seating allows a portion of city sidewalk to be used by a business. It provides outdoor seating for the patrons of the business during its hours of operation.

For more information on sidewalk seating location standards, operational requirements and permit provisions, read the Outdoor Seating Guide.

Outdoor Seating Permit Process

Outdoor Seating permits are valid for one year (July 1 - June 30). Permit renewals must be submitted by June 30 each year or permit will expire.

How to Apply

Step  Description 
1. Review Hospitality Guide  

Review the Outdoor Seating Guide to learn about necessary requirements. Not sure if you qualify for an Outdoor Seating Permit or do you have questions? Reach out to us at hospitality.programs@raleighnc.gov

2. Gather Required Documents The following documents are needed in order to apply: 
  • Scaled Site Diagram (depicting proposed set-up, current streetscape, and ADA access)
  • Certificate of Insurance (for Sidewalk Seating)
  • Certificate of Insurance (for Streetery)
  • Copy of Alcohol Beverage Control Commission (ABC) Permit (if applicable)
3. Register and Submit Documents 
4. City Review & Notification 

The City will review submissions and reach out with any comments or feedback. An electronic Indemnity Agreement will be sent by staff upon review of submitted items for DocuSign signature.  An onsite inspection will be scheduled prior to the fee being charged.  After a successful site inspection and payment, the City will issue your permit. Outdoor Seating permit fees are waived through June 30, 2024.

Outdoor Seating Guide

Raleigh City Code governs outdoor seating within the City. Our office has created an Outdoor Seating Guide that provides relevant policies and procedures in a user-friendly manner to assist with obtaining a permit. All applicants should review this guide prior to applying for outdoor seating, so they are aware of the complexities that come with having outdoor seating on City property. The guide covers the following:

  • Types of Outdoor Seating
  • Design standards and guidelines
  • Operational requirements and permit provisions
  • Permitting process overview
  • Fees, rules, regulations, and other considerations
  • Frequently asked questions


Lead Department:
Special Events Office
Service Categories:
Hospitality Programs