The Austin City Council unanimously approved the creation of a temporary administrative process at a special meeting Monday morning for the approval of temporary outdoor seating for bars and restaurants in the city.  Austin Mayor Tom Stiehm spoke with KAUS during the “Meet the Mayor” segment on “Wright Here, Right Now” and stated that the action was taken to provide restaurants and bars in Austin the most support possible during the COVID-19 pandemic…

The decision came about in response to Governor Tim Walz’s executive order which allows bars and restaurants to offer outdoor seating and service at a limited capacity. Businesses interested in having outdoor seating must fill out an Application for Temporary Outside Seating, which would then be approved or denied by the city administrator or another designee. Any application that would be in the right-of-way, such as shutting down part of a street, would require council approval.

The city may also administratively approve temporary expansion of liquor service to an on-site liquor licensee that has an approved application.

Businesses seeking approval are required to meet certain performance standards, such as temporary signage and compliance with all applicable laws and codes.  Those interested in applying can contact City Clerk Ann Kasel at [email protected] or 507-437-9943, or Wendy Anderson at the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce at [email protected] or 507-437-4561.