Apply for a sidewalk café permit

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) through the Portland in the Streets program issues Sidewalk Café Permits to allow businesses to place tables and seating on the public sidewalk. Businesses must sell food and beverages to apply for a sidewalk café permit.

This application can take up to 20 minutes to fill out. Additional materials will take longer to prepare. Depending on the time of year and application completion, it can take up to 3 weeks to process.

  1. Review and complete the application packet

    • Fill out the application form
    • Read and sign the Responsible Party Agreement
    • Confirm property owner consent with signature(s)
    • Create your seating plan by drawing a diagram of how you would like your sidewalk area to look
    • Pay the $350 non-refundable application fee either by check made payable to The City of Portland, or we will send you a link to pay online

    Bring your completed application packet to the front desk area: 

    Portland Bureau of Transportation
    Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  2. Provide insurance documents

    We require you to submit a certificate of insurance and an endorsement naming the City of Portland as additionally insured. The insurance coordinator can be reached at 

  3. Wait for processing and review

    A site visit will occur to determine whether we can approve your seating plan.

    Once completed, we will send you a summary of the visit, the plan, and the remaining permit fees.

  4. Pay for your permit

    First year permit cost:  $150 application fee + $13.50 per linear foot of cafe space + $30.92 insurance processing fee. 

    Annual permit renewal cost:  $150 renewal fee + $6.50 per linear foot + $30.92 insurance processing fee. 

  5. Receive and display your permit

    You will receive a copy of your permit in the mail. Display it in the window so it can be seen from the sidewalk.

  6. Renew your permit

    This permit is only good for each calendar year and expires on December 31. You will need to renew your permit every year to keep your sidewalk café active.