Curbside Cafe / Market

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Curbside cafés/markets, also known as streateries or parklets, are similar to sidewalk cafés but located in a parking space in the right-of-way. They function as an extension to an existing restaurant’s seating area or retail store. Curbside Cafes/Markets are permitted to be used only during the regular operating business hours of the host establishment.  Private use of the public right-of-way typically requires entering into a formal agreement with the City, however, as a pilot program, this requirement will be waived in an effort to support local businesses affected by closures related to COVID-19.

The intent of this pilot program is increase the capacity for businesses to comply with the requirements of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start phased reopening plan. A permit for the Curbside Café/Market Pilot Program can accommodate temporary structures such as tables, chairs, planters, and shade coverings. Retail businesses may also utilize areas of the right-of-way to expand their ability to serve customers.

To determine which option of outdoor use is best suited for your business, refer to Figure 2. If you are interested in a sidewalk café, as well, please refer to tip sheet G-500 Temporary Sidewalk Café.


  • Application
  • Site plan
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance from authorized representative of your insurance company
  • Proof of ownership and proof signature authority














How do I get started?

  1. Review the street location.
  2. Complete a site plan of the proposed curbside café/market using the template provided and identify all items proposed to be in the sidewalk and parking area.
  3. Consider what type of barrier will separate the curbside café/market from the travel way.
  4. If you wish to extend your liquor license to include the curbside café/market, you must comply with all City and State laws and ordinances, including those established by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). They can be contacted at: WSLCB, 3000 Pacific Avenue SE, Olympia, WA 98504 (360) 664-1600.
  5. You are responsible for meeting the requirements of the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department (TPCHD). You may contact them at or (253) 649-1706.
  6. Consider contacting City staff prior to submitting an application to address site questions, or (253) 591-5365.

Review Process Steps

  1. Apply online at and attach all necessary information (see above).
  2. Your application will be evaluated by City departments for approvals.
  3. When all of the above requirements are met and approvals are final, the permit document will be issued.

General Guidelines

The guidelines and design standards for curbside café/market are general in order to encourage variety by the individual restaurant owner.  Each approved curbside café/market shall:

  • Only operate during regular business hours of host establishment.
  • Directly abut the restaurant and be adjacent to the property (frontage or side).
  • No closer than 25 feet of an intersection, 5 feet of a driveway, 30 feet of a stop sign, and 60 feet of a bus stop sign.
  • Have seating separated from the travel way by at least 2 feet using fencing, barricades or planters with highly visible traffic cones or delineators.
  • Not encroach into the sidewalk (refer to Temporary Sidewalk Café for sidewalk café).
  • Be configured so all tables, chairs and attachments can be completely removed at any time.
  • Be allowed shade coverings such as umbrellas or canopies, as long as no part of the canopy extends into the sidewalk or travel lane, is anchored securely against the wind, closed or removed overnight, and does not contain any advertising.
  • Conform to the applicable provisions, rules, regulations, and guidance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Not block access to bus stops or ADA parking
  • Hold a valid business license.
  • Have a Washington State liquor license if liquor is to be served.

Site Plan Requirements:

Label the property address, business name, street names, and north arrow. In order to expedite your application, it is important that special attention is given to the development of the site plan. To assist with development of your site plan, please check off the following minimum requirements prior to submittal, acknowledging that the site plan addresses all requirements:

  • Show and label all existing sidewalk/street obstructions such as fire hydrants, tree wells, streetlights, bus stops, bike racks, benches, utility covers and poles.
  • Ensure that current social distancing requirements as directed by the State and TPCHD are met.
  • For curbside cafes: Illustrate how ADA standards will be met. Each streatery shall include a minimum of (1) ADA accessible seating area per parking space used. If required ADA seating is located within on-street parking stall, a temporary ramp may be required.
  • For curbside markets: Illustrate how the entire parking space is ADA accessible, which may include a temporary ramp or raised platform.
  • Specify what type of barrier will separate the curbside café/market from the travel lane. Depending on the type of barrier, traffic control delieators may also be required.

Once your application has been approved you may begin occupying the on-street parking stall with appropriate barriers. This Pilot Program will be evaluated throughout implementation and at each phase of the Governor’s Safe Start order, but no later than October 2020.






















Operating Requirements
Submit an application for Curbside Café/Market Pilot Program; and

  1. Maintain a current business license; and
  2. Maintain a valid liability insurance policy with the City named as an additional insured.


Applicable Codes and Regulations

2015 International Building Code (IBC) 2015 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) ▪ 2015 International Fire Code (IFC) ▪ 2009 ICC A117.1 Accessible and Usable Buildings and Facilities ▪ Title 2 Buildings ▪ Title 11 Model Traffic Ordinance ▪ Title 13 Land Use Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC)



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