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DDOT, ABRA to Increase Inspections of Sidewalk Cafes

The D.C. Department of Transportation (DDOT), Alcoholic Beverage Administration (ABRA), Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. Fire and Emergency Services and the D.C. Department of Public Works have created a Taskforce to increase the oversight and inspection of sidewalk cafes in the city.

With over 600 sidewalk cafes in the region, the Taskforce will be visiting all sidewalk cafes three times between April and October 2012.  The purpose of the visits is threefold:  to educate restaurateurs on rules and regulations for operating a sidewalk café, to assist operators who are not currently compliant in becoming compliant with regulations, and to enforce regulations.

Establishments with sidewalk cafes should, at a minimum, ensure the following:

  • Public Space Permit annual fee is paid (the fee is assessed through property taxes);
  • Certificate of Use annual fee is paid;
  • Sidewalk café floor plan is consistent with the plans submitted and approved by DDOT Public Space Committee  (Approved floor plan must be produced and available for inspector’s review); and
  • Sidewalk café floor plan abides by all fire and safety codes.

The Taskforce will also be visiting Valet Parking locations to ensure compliance with D.C. regulations.  For more information on obtaining and maintaining a public space permit for a sidewalk café, please contact our offices.

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