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In March, many Detroit restaurant owners made the tough call to close their doors due to the rise of the coronavirus in the United States. Under Governor Whitmer’s executive order, restaurants were allowed to serve customers with take-out only options, but fears of the virus had some businesses suffering drastically.

As the Governor’s reopening plan for the state slowly progressed, restaurants were allowed to open their doors to customers but for outside seating only. That’s where Detroit’s Department of Public Works came in to help restaurants get back on their feet quickly and easily.

“Historically, the City of Detroit has had a very bureaucratic way of applying for outdoor dining that goes through many different layers of government, many different departments,” Caitlin Malloy-Marcon, Deputy Director of DPW, said.

She and her team worked closely with the Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity Department (CRIO) to create a simple and easy application process for restaurant owners to apply for outdoor eating permits that would allow them to get up and running in no time.

“We worked with City Council as well as the administration and tried to draft out a system that would allow for these restaurants to get up and running outdoors as soon as the governor's order would allow that action to happen,” Malloy-Marcon said.”

The Open Detroit program provides business owners and restaurateurs an easy system to apply for outdoor dining permits on city sidewalks, parking spaces and even parking lots adjacent to restaurants. Although the process would usually take up to two months, Malloy-Marcon says businesses have been approved for the same day.

Applying is simple. Businesses have to visit www.detroitmeansbusiness.org. There they will find a registration link and guidelines they must follow in order to be ADA compliant and in line with the governor’s orders. Business owners have to submit their business license number, address and their plans for outdoor dining. They’ll also have to indicate they have read and understood the guidelines put in place by the City of Detroit.

“We're giving the businesses the benefit of the doubt that they are going to read the guidelines,” she said. “They're going to set up to the best of their ability to keep themselves, their staff and their customers safe, and that they're also going to just follow the basic City rules to make sure that the sidewalk is passable for wheelchairs.”

Inspectors from DPW and the Buildings, Safety Engineering and Environmental Department are sent out periodically to check on businesses once their outdoor seating is set up to make sure everything is in compliance.

“We've really tried to even take a new approach to enforcement; to keep businesses in business,” Malloy-Marcon said. “We will go out. We will tell them if they have any violations, give them an opportunity to correct that and continue to work with the business owner before taking any type of more stringent action on it.”

Outdoor seating may be a solution for the summer and early fall months, but we all know how harsh Michigan winters can be. DPW is working to ensure restaurants can still maintain business once the current Open Detroit agreement with City Council ends in November.

At the beginning of the Stay Home order, DPW and the CRIO department helped businesses set up curbside pick-up locations in front of their buildings. Customers would place their orders ahead of time and then call upon arrival to indicate they were out front. Their food would be promptly brought to their cars.

“We have kept that temporary program up and running, even though many restaurants are now open for inside dining too,” she said. “But, again, we're just trying to use as many tools as we have to keep people afloat.”

As of July 30, the Open Detroit program for outdoor dining permits has approved 151 restaurants for business.

“Some of those are just sidewalks. Some of them are using the parking spaces and then a couple of them are full street closures.”

Permit fees for outdoor dining have been waived for this year due to the COVID-19 hardships. The fee is usually $400 annually.

To register your restaurant, visit www.detroitmeansbusiness.org and complete the application today!

Here's a full list of restaurants with outdoor dining options: 

District 1

  • Lola Mae's Bistro:15418 Schoolcraft 
  • Opyum Lounge: 24587 W 8 Mile Rd  
  • Views Bar and Grill: 24200 Grand River Ave

District 2

  • ConverZations Banquet & Event Ctr: 20238 Livernois
  • Good Cakes and Bakes:19363 Livernois Ave
  • Good Times on the Ave: 19416 Livernois Ave
  • Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles: 19345 Livernois Ave
  • Menjo's: 928 W McNichols Rd
  • Narrow Way Cafe:19331 Livernois Ave
  • Noni's Sherwood Grille: 19700 Livernois
  • Teresas Place: 14000 W McNichols Rd 
  • The Sweet Café: 20236 Livernois Ave
  • The Lockeroom: 8290 Livernois Ave
  • Yoshi Hibachi Grille: 19360 Livernois Ave. 

District 3

  • MNM Eight Mile Inc.: 6200 E. Eight Mile Rd
  • Statefair Lounge: 19910 Hoover Rd
  • Tees: 17132 Conant St

District 4

  • Big Burgzs: 17627 E Warren Ave
  • Cadieux Cafe: 4300 Cadieux
  • Cornerstone Village Bar& Grill: 17315 Mack Ave
  • Delroy's First Place Lounge: 16921 Harper Ave
  • La Cina Mexican Restaurant 17201 Mack Ave
  • Lost River: 15421 Mack Ave 
  • Pop Culture Vegan Cafe: 15439 Mack Ave 

District 5

  • 8 Degrees Plato Beer Company: 3409 Cass Ave
  • Amore da Roma: 3401 Riopelle
  • Astoria Pastry Shop: 541 Monroe
  • Atwater Brewery: 237 Joseph Campau
  • Bea's Detroit: 1533 Winder St
  • Brewery Faisan: 1087 Beaufait St
  • Buddy's Pizza: 1555 Broadway St
  • Buffalo Wild Wings: 1218 Randolph St
  • Checker Bar: 124 Cadillac Square
  • Ck Mediterranean: 119 Monroe
  • Coaches Corner Grill: 220 Bagley
  • Cornerstone Barrel House: 1456 Woodward Ave
  • Delux Cocktail Lounge: 350 Monroe St
  • Detroit Beer Company: 1529 Broadway St
  • Detroit City Distillery (on behalf of all businesses on 2400 block of Riopelle): 2462 Riopelle
  • Detroit Riverfront Conservancy (Rivard Plaza): 1340 Atwater 
  • Detroit Sports Bar & Grill: 1570 Woodward Ave
  • Detroit Vineyards: 1000 Maple St.
  • Eastern Market Brewing Co: 2515 Riopelle St
  • Firebird Tavern: 419 Monroe
  • Flood's Bar & Grille: 731 St Antoine
  • Golden Fleece: 525 Monroe
  • Grand Trunk Pub: 612 Woodward Ave
  • Greektown Neighborhood Partnership: 400 Monroe St., Ste 340
  • Greenwich Time Pub: 130 Cadillac Square
  • Hammer & Nail: 3800 Woodward Ave
  • Harbor House Detroit: 440 Clinton St
  • IVY Kitchen + Cocktails: 9215 E. Jefferson Ave.
  • Kiesling: 449 E. Milwaukee St
  • La Casa De La Habana Detroit: 1502 Randolph Street
  • Lagerhaus: 51529 Adelaide
  • Loco's: 454 E Lafayette
  • Marrow: 8044 Kercheval St.
  • Metropolitan Master Tenant: 33 John R St, Detroit, MI 48226
  • MIX Bricktown: 641 Beaubien St
  • Mootz Pizza: 1230 Library St
  • Niki's Pizza: 735 Beaubien
  • Pappys Sports Bar: 517 Monroe St 
  • PizzaPapalis Greektown: 553 Monroe St,
  • Queens Bar: 35 E Grand River Ave
  • Red Smoke Detroit: 573 Monroe St
  • Snack Camp: 1464 Van Dyke
  • Southern Fires: 575 Bellevue
  • Stache International: 1416 E Fisher Freeway
  • Supino Pizzeria: 2457 Russell St
  • Terry's Casablanca: 6366 Gratiot
  • The Detroiter Bar: 655 Beaubien St
  • The Elephant Room: 439 E. Congress St.
  • The Gathering Coffee Co: 2831 E Grand Blvd
  • The Greek: 535 Monroe St
  • The Hudson Cafe: 1241 Woodward Avenue
  • The Well: 1228 Randolph St
  • Thomas Magees (on behalf of the 1400 block of East Fisher): 1408 E Fisher Service Drive
  • Vertical Detroit: 1538 Centre Street
  • Villages Community Development Corporation: 7900 Mack Ave
  • Vivio's Restaurant: 2460 Market St
  • Wahlburgers: 569 Monroe St 

District 6

  • Avalon International Breads: 422 W. Willis
  • Babo Detroit: 15 E Kirby, Suite 115
  • Bakersfield: 3100 Woodward Ave
  • Baltimore Bar: 1234 Randolph
  • Bash: 5069 Trumbull Ave
  • Batch Brewing Company: 1400 Porter St
  • BESA: 600 Woodward Ave
  • Bobcat Bonnie's: 1800 Michigan Ave
  • Bodega Cat: 2200 Scotten St
  • Brass Rail LLC: 18 West Adams
  • Cafe D'Mongos Speakeasy: 1439 Griswold St
  • Cannelle Detroit: 45 W Grand River Ave
  • Central Kitchen + Bar: 660 Woodward Ave
  • Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails: 15 E Kirby St., Suite D
  • Cold Truth: 4240 Cass Ave 
  • Dagwoods Sandwich Shop: 400 Bagley St
  • David Whitney Building: 1 Park Ave
  • Detroit Shipping Company: 474 Peterboro
  • Eatóri Market: 1215 Griswold
  • El Parian Restaurant: 1631 Lawndale
  • El Zocalo: 3400 Bagley
  • For the Love of Sugar: 100 Erskine
  • Grandma Bob's Pizza: 2135 Michigan Ave 
  • Hazels Place: 5516 Michigan Ave
  • Honest John's: 488 Selden St 
  • Kwench Juice Cafe: 719 Griswold St. #110
  • La Terraza: 8445 W Vernor HWY
  • Leila Restaurant: 1245 Griswold Street
  • Mario's Italian Restaurant: 4222 2nd Ave
  • Mudgie’s: 1300 Porter
  • Nest Egg - Folk/Mink: 1701 Trumbull Ave 
  • Neveria Michoacana: 4336 W Vernor Hwy
  • Pao Detroit: 114 W Adams Ave
  • pho lucky: 3111 Woodward Ave
  • Republic Tavern: 1942 Grand River Ave (outdoor seating area will be on Adams St)
  • Rincon Tropical: 6538 Michigan Ave
  • Rusted Crow Detroit: 78 W Adams
  • Savannah Blue: 1421 Times Square
  • Savant: 51 W Forest Ave
  • SheWolf Pastificio & Bar: 438 Selden St
  • Super Mexicana LLC Supermercado La Jalisciense: 3923 Vernor Hwy
  • Taqueria El Nacimiento: 7400 W Vernor
  • Temple Bar: 2906 Cass Ave.
  • The Block: 3919 Woodward Ave
  • The Brakeman: 22 John R St
  • The Caribbean Club: 5506 Proctor
  • The Griot Music Lounge: 66 E Forest Ave.
  • The Peterboro: 420 Peterboro Street
  • The Royce Detroit: 76W Adams Avenue, Suite A
  • Tin Roof Detroit: 47 E Adams Ave
  • WXYZ Lounge @ the David Whitney building: 1 Park Ave

District 7

  • Banko's Lounge: 14168 Wyoming St
  • Fusion Flare Kitchen & Cocktails: 16801 Plymouth
  • Gigis: 16920 W Warren Ave
  • Hury Inn: 19430 W Warren Ave
  • Red Robin: 18650 Ford Rd