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Temporary Off-premises Outdoor Dining/Seating Areas

In order to offer greater economic opportunity by providing the ability to expand service options for Shorewood restaurants, breweries and bars/taverns, the Village Board approved the use of temporary off-premises outdoor dining and seating areas as follows:

  1. Eligible Entities:  Businesses licensed to serve food and/or beverages, including alcoholic.
  2. Location:  The outdoor area considered to be “off-premises” is limited to an outdoor dining/seating area within any area located on the subject property, most nearly adjacent to the restaurant or bar that is not designated and approved for such use.  This can include the parking lot, greenspace or other such areas where the requirements listed herein can be met.  Driveways, fire lanes, drive-through, sidewalks or other means for vehicular or pedestrian traffic circulation may not be obstructed without Village approval through the permit process.
  3. Size:  The exact size and location of an off-premises outdoor dining/seating area will be approved through the permit process.  If using the parking lot, not more than approximately 25% of the total parking area, as defined by the Village, can be dedicated for temporary outdoor dining/seating.  The required number of handicapped parking stalls must be maintained for the duration of the temporary outdoor dining/seating area approval.
  4. Use:  The temporary outdoor dining/seating area shall not include a bar area and alcohol in an open container may not be removed from the area.  Smoking is prohibited within the temporary outdoor dining/seating area.
  5. Approvals:  The following approvals are required:
    • If the property owner is not the applicant, the property owner must approve the location, size and definition of the temporary outdoor dining/seating area in writing.
    • If a restaurant or bar locates their temporary outdoor dining/seating area in front of another businesses’ frontage, the affected business owner must provide written approval of the proposed location.
  6. Barrier & Enclosure:
    • The temporary outdoor dining/seating area shall have adequate open-air barriers between the seating area and vehicular circulation/parking and to delineate the temporary outdoor dining/seating area as required by the Liquor Control Ordinance, if applicable.  
    • Outdoor dining/seating areas may be designed in accordance with guidelines as set forth by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  Any tent, canopy and/or fence must be identified on the permit application and approved.  
  7. Safety:  Restaurants and bars must operate in accordance with the guidance of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Illinois Public Health Department (IDPH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and any other applicable public health agency.  Applicants shall submit an operations plan with their permit application explaining how they will meet and/or exceed these guidelines, which includes how they will address customers waiting to be seated.
  8. Trash Collection:  Temporary trash containers shall be provided in the temporary outdoor dining/seating area, as appropriate.  Maintenance of the outdoor dining/seating area and trash receptacles shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
  9. Noise:  The outdoor dining/seating area shall not disturb the lawful use and quiet enjoyment of nearby tenants or adjacent property occupants.  Live entertainment shall not be permitted outside.
  10. Hours:  Temporary off-premises dining areas may not operate later than 12:00am on Sunday through Thursday and 1:00am on Friday and Saturday or as restricted by guidelines or mitigations enacted by the State. 
  11. Indoor Facility:  Except for restroom visits, gaming (as permitted by the Illinois Gaming Board, DCEO or IDPH) and to pick up orders, indoor premises are closed for public use until such time as the Governor allows on-premises indoor dining. 
  12. Permit:  A permit will be required for outdoor dining/seating areas subject to this relief.  
    • Permit Application:  The following will be required to be submitted with the permit application:
      • Online Permit Application Form;
      • Approvals as noted above;
      • A parking and circulation plan showing the temporary modification to the parking lot as well as location of tents, canopies and fence/barriers;
      • General dining/seating area plan to depict layout of tables and chairs;
      • Operations plan identifying compliance with DCEO, IDPH, CDC and other public health agency guidelines and requirements (this can be a copy of the published guidance if the business owner does not have more specific operations planned); and
      • Any other documentation required to demonstrate compliance with the aforementioned requirements.
    • Permit Expiration:  Once approved, the permit will be valid while the Governor has restricted on-premises dining to anything less than full capacity.  In the event that the Governor requires the closure of outdoor dining/seating areas again, all temporary outdoor dining/seating permits shall terminate.
    • Fee:  Fees will be waived for off-premises outdoor dining/seating and associated permits, which includes tent and temporary exterior lighting permits, as applicable.
    • Restoration:  When restaurants and bars are permitted to be occupied at full capacity or upon expiration or termination of the permit, whichever occurs first, the area used for the temporary outdoor dining/seating shall be returned to its original use.  
  13. Prior Approvals:  
    • Bars/restaurants that have an existing outdoor patio area and/or Class L liquor license do not require a temporary permit to operate in the areas previously dedicated for such use or permitted by their license and may operate under the terms and conditions of the prior approval without the need for a temporary permit.  The Licensee shall comply with all Executive Orders and other regulations required by health departments and the State of Illinois.
    • Per the Restaurant and Bar Guidelines, interior seating is permitted provided that 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening.  The use of indoor space in this manner would not require a permit to operate for as long as it is allowed by the State.  Compliance with all Executive Orders and other regulations required by health departments and the State of Illinois is required.

Questions about the permitting process can be directed to Natalie Engel, Village Planner, at or at (815) 553-2314.