Jan 3, 2023 - News

Philly restaurants take down streeteries ahead of new regulations

An outdoor dining streetery in Philadelphia

A woman walks past the streety from Bar Bombón in Center City on Aug. 12, 2021. Photo: Kriston Jae Bethel/Bloomberg via Getty

The city's al fresco dining scene is in flux.

Driving the news: Philly will start enforcing its updated streeteries program on Monday.

  • Restaurant owners who want to keep their parking-lot dining spaces have to apply for licenses, pay a $1,750 fee, and be covered by a $1 million insurance policy. That's in addition to meeting new building requirements.
  • Those in violation could face fines.

Why it matters: Launched at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the outdoor dining option served as a lifeline to restaurants operating amid COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions.

  • Streeteries led to a rebirth of outdoor dining as hundreds of creative structures popped up across Philly.

State of play: As of the last week, the city had yet to approve any streetery licenses, per the Inquirer.

  • Some restaurants have been tearing down their streetery structures ahead of the new regulations taking effect.

What they're saying: Brenden McGrew, of The Goat's Beard in Manayunk, told FOX29 it'll cost more than $10,000 to comply with the new requirements.

  • Laurel chef Nicholas Elmi wrote on Instagram that streeteries took a "tremendous amount of investment and upkeep," calling it "ridiculous" for the city to change regulations two years later.

Streets Department spokesperson Keisha McCarty-Skelton told the Inquirer that enforcement will begin with the "most egregious situations" and ramp up over the winter.


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