The Downtown Blog

The official blog of Downtown Pittsburgh. Read up on what's new, what's happening, and what stories are being told in the neighborhood.

Alerts & Notices,

Help Keep Outdoor Dining Downtown

Monday, February 7, 2022

Outdoor dining has been an essential way to support small businesses and maintain vibrancy Downtown over the last two years. Current expansions located on Penn Avenue, in Market Square, on Strawberry Way, and on 6th Street, with more throughout the city – which allowed businesses to remain open while also making for a more lively and active neighborhood – were made possible due to emergency permits issued from the City’s Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI). To keep outdoor dining thriving into the future, the City’s street café program needs to be updated, and you can voice your support to allow these programs to continue.

Councilman Bobby Wilson (District 1) introduced legislation last week to update the street café program to allow for the expanded outdoor dining and retail activities to become permanent. If the legislation passes, new guidelines will be developed so new businesses can apply to operate outdoors. Businesses currently operating under temporary permits have been granted an extension until through December 31, 2022, but would then need to follow the new guidelines.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is in support of this new policy which enables more permanent and higher quality outdoor dining experiences to occur. Since the pandemic started in spring 2020, more than 30 restaurants have utilized expanded outdoor dining, and we know it will continue to be a vital component to help small businesses and draw increased activity Downtown.

Please lend your voice towards this important legislation! The standing committee meeting following the introduction of the new registration is this Wednesday, February 9.

To register for public comment or to show your support for the program, use this link to visit the City Clerk’s Office webpage. Scroll to the bottom of the page to the SPEAKER SIGNUP form and complete it in its entirety, leaving no space blank as doing so may cause registrants to be omitted from the database. 

Written comments can also be emailed to the City Clerk (; however, they are not usually read during the meetings. 

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