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Sidewalk Cafe - Materials: Extras

Click on a category to see its requirements.
Does the City have any resources for creating cafes?
Heating and Cooling
Electrical Connections
Graphics and Branding

Awnings, Umbrellas, and Overhead Coverings

  • Must be easily removable, wind-resistant, and comprised of fire-resistant grade materials
  • Cannot extend beyond the permitted sidewalk cafe, unless approved by NYC DOB.
  • Awnings or overhead coverings attached to the building require review and approval by NYC DOB.
  • Minimum vertical clearance of 8 feet for an awning and 7 feet for an overhead covering or umbrella; maximum height of 10 feet.
  • Umbrellas and overhead coverings must have a weighted base.
  • Vertical elements used to support an umbrella or overhead covering must be of sufficient size and strength, made of durable materials, and free from defects.
  • Overhead covering materials may include tensile fabric, retractable fabric, fabric panels, and rigid sheet materials (e.g., polycarbonate panels, panelized sheet metals, etc.) 
  • No advertising is allowed. Review Graphic and Branding requirements.
Awnings, Umbrellas, Coverings


  • Must be outdoor rated, lightweight, protected, and properly secured.
  • Must be located within the sidewalk cafe and can only illuminate the dining area.
  • Cannot exceed 10 feet in height.
  • Cannot be attached to any City property, including street trees.
  • All electrical work must comply with the NYC Electrical Code. Review Electrical Connections for more information.

Heating and Cooling

  • Heaters may be installed but must be approved by NYC DOB and FDNY.
  • Fans or similar cooling devices are also permitted and must also comply with applicable regulations.
  • Heating or cooling devices must be installed within the sidewalk cafe perimeter.
  • Review Electrical Connections for information on how to bring power for these elements.
Electric Heating and Cooling

Electrical Connections

  • We recommend consulting a licensed professional if you are considering making an electrical connection to your sidewalk cafe.
  • All electric power must be supplied from the building.
  • Attachments such as junction boxes or conduit to the building must be approved by NYC DOB.
  • Electric connections must run from the building to the sidewalk cafe. They cannot be attached to or run from any City-owned property, like a street light.
  • All connections must comply with the NYC Electric Code and any other applicable rules.
Electrical Connections


  • Plantings are allowed and can be placed around the entire perimeter.
  • Limit soil volume to discourage pest or rodent harborage. Select plants suited to the amount of soil provided.

Graphics and Branding

  • No advertising is allowed.
  • The following can be displayed on elements of the setup:
    • Name and logo of the restaurant
    • Menu or information on services provided by the restaurant
    • Name and logo of any sponsors of the restaurants amenities
  • Graphics can only occupy 10% of the surface area of the surface on which they are located.
  • On umbrellas or overhead coverings, graphics may be physically adhered to the fabric.
  • No graphics or signs may be self-illuminated, flashing, or moving.
Graphics and Branding