Linden Neighborhood Conversation

Melanie Crabill
Director of Media Relations
[email protected]

Kevin Kilbane
Director of Communications
[email protected]

Media Advisory
News Date: September 30, 2021

City of Columbus Extends Outdoor Dining Program Again

The outdoor seating pilot program will extend through November 14 to allow restaurants and bars to use the right of way for temporary outdoor on-street dining areas or expand seating into their parking lots.

The pilot program was launched in summer 2020 and resumed in March 2021 to support restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot permitted increased seating capacity outdoors to replace indoor seating lost as a result of social distancing. The outdoor spaces also help mitigate the transmission of the virus and ensuing Delta variant.

“The City of Columbus is pleased to extend this program again and work with our local restaurants and bars to provide safe outdoor seating options for patrons,” said Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. “The successful pilot supports the industry, our economy, and the health and well-being of our community as we continue to fight this virus.” 

Twelve restaurants currently are participating in the right-of-way dining, and 24 others have outdoor dining in their parking lots. Public Service and Building and Zoning Services will reach out to participating establishments to see if they want to continue through November 14. 

All temporary outdoor seating areas permitted must comply with the requirements of the pilot and with state and local health requirements intended to slow or prevent COVID-19 and Delta variant transmission. Tents are allowed in parking areas, but must be open on two sides for ventilation, and combustible heaters are not permitted.  

“The Ohio Restaurant Association appreciates the ongoing partnership with the City of Columbus as their leadership continues to support the restaurant and foodservice industry,” said John Barker, President and CEO of the ORA. “Extending outside street dining helps our operators expand their restaurant footprint, welcome more guests and add to the ambiance of our great city. We thank Mayor Ginther and his administration. With this extension, we look forward to a prosperous fall season where outdoor dining helps our restaurants, bars and foodservice locations continue to rebound from a very challenging 2020. Our operators pledge to safely serve guests, and the expanded space helps keep restaurant workers employed.”

New applications are still being accepted. All applications and/or questions for expansion into the right of way or sidewalks can be submitted online at All applications and/or questions to expand patios into parking lots or on private property shall submit a summary email to [email protected] for an initial review.