Lift Up Local

Lift Up Local

In response to Covid-19 restaurant interior capacity limits, the City of Tampa implemented the Lift Up Local Economic Recovery Plan which temporarily allows bars, restaurants, and retail businesses to establish outdoor capacity on adjacent privately-owned and public space without having to go through a full application and permitting process or pay a fee.

As a result of the September 25, 2020 Florida Governor’s Executive Order 20-244, interior capacity is no longer limited to a percentage of approved building occupancy.

In the interest of supporting local business recovery, and to emphasize the health benefits of outdoor activity, the City’s Lift Up Local program will continue through November 1, 2020 at 3:00am subject to the guidelines noted here.

During this time, the City will suspend certain code and permit requirements to enable greater use of outdoor space for bars, dining, and retail patrons. Safety and accessibility requirements still apply. Details of the specific guidance are available in the LiftUp Local Guidebook Final Phase

A summary of the details are as follows:

General Requirements and Recommendations

  • Lift Up Local applies only to establishments that are legally authorized to be open to the public.
  • Public or private sidewalks which are utilized under this program may be used for outdoor seating only, at both restaurants and bars.
  • All outdoor tables must be spaced at least six feet apart, except if partitioning is in place.
  • No Seat, No Service. All patrons must be seated in the established space outside. No standing or loitering is permitted.
  • Establishments using Tents or Parklets are encouraged to use a reservation process to prevent patrons from congregating while waiting for service.
  • Facial coverings must be worn by all staff who have direct contact with patrons and customers.
  • Hand sanitizer should be easily accessible to patrons and employees.
  • Disposable, sanitizable, or electronic menus are requiredContactless ordering and payment processes are recommended.
  • Limit contact with bar and dining guests by reducing the number of visits wait staff make to each table.
  • Employees and staff are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19. Call 888-513-6321 for free testing. No symptoms necessary and insurance is not required.

Outdoor Seating Recovery Program

Through November 1, 2020 at 3:00 am, specified City Code requirements regarding permitting of sidewalk cafes shall be temporarily suspended. Businesses utilizing private and public sidewalks shall comply with the guidelines established in the Lift Up Local Guidebook Final Phase.

Operational Requirements for Sidewalk Cafes per Sec. 22-227 shall remain in effect and shall generally apply to all private business operations including retail establishments.

Use of open space not covered by a tent or structure can be done without seeking a pre-approval (periodic inspections may occur).

Use of tents, covered structures, or parklets requires pre-approval per the Fast Pass process. Details are available in the Guidebook.

Outdoor seating on sidewalks with no tent

  • No application, permit process, or fee is required. Periodic unannounced inspections may occur.
  • Adequate pedestrian flow of at least 6 feet must be maintained at all times; an example of an adequate outdoor seating configuration can be found in the Guidebook.
  • Access to public utilities, building entrances, crosswalks, bus stops and transit entrances must be maintained.
  • Pedestrian and traffic safety must be observed.
  • Aesthetic compatibility with the surrounding area must be established.
  • Additional guidance and requirements on location, construction, signage, maintenance, and umbrellas applies.

Note: The City reserves the right to remove a sidewalk café/retail space for violations listed in the Guidebook.

Use of Tents/Covered Structures or Parklets

Establishments must seek pre-approval to install temporary parklets and/or tents/covered structures subject to the following requirements. Further details may be found in the Guidebook.

  • Establishment must be legally operational per Governor’s orders.
  • Parklets, Tents and Covers must be approved in advance by the City subject to an EZ-Pass approval system (same-day permit; 24-hour inspection).
  • Social distancing and sanitation protocols remain in effect.
  • No street closures allowed.
  • All patrons must be in a seat. No seat, No service.
  • Outdoor spaces are for bar or restaurant seating (and tables) only. No bars or outdoor alcohol service stands.
  • City reserves discretion to discontinue the program based upon changing conditions.

More detailed information is available in the LiftUp Local Guidebook Final Phase.