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Its been a while since we were able to safely go into a bar or restaurant, and Denver wants to make sure the long-awaited reopening process goes as smoothly as possible. 

With this in mind, the city of Denver is creating a temporary program to expand the options for restaurants, bars, and other similar businesses to operate in outdoor settings adjacent to their businesses. The idea behind this program is to allow for greater social distancing and ensure the safety of all visitors when the state’s public health orders allow restaurants and bars to resume sit-down service. Proposals of the temporary program could include expansion into designated outdoor areas such as parking lots and streets and sidewalks, yet the final rules and regulations are still in the process of development. 

“Business owners need time to prepare for reopening, and we want to set them up for success as soon as dine-in becomes permissible again,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “We also want to ensure it’s safe for employees and customers to return to these businesses when that time comes.” 

There is still not a set date for the city to reopen bars and restaurants, yet the city is opening the application process now in order to proactively manage the review of expansion requests. According to the press release, Eligible businesses for this program include restaurants, bars, cafes, coffee shops, taverns, brewpubs, breweries, microbreweries, distillery pubs, wineries, tasting rooms, and other similar places of public accommodation offering food or alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption. 

Once approved, this program will be available to those eligible businesses for the duration of the outdoor summer dining season through September 7, 2020, at which time the city may evaluate a potential extension of the program. 

“Denver’s restaurant and bar operators have been working around the clock through this entire crisis to innovate and adapt their businesses to be safer than ever. Mayor Hancock and his team are making Denver proud by moving proactively on this massive effort to support restaurants and patrons,” said Katie Lazor, executive director of EatDenver. 

In partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association and EatDenver, a virtual information session will be held from 1-2 p.m., Tuesday, May 19. Members of Denver’s restaurant and bar community can register to attend the information session at this link

A link to the interest form and more information is available here