Sidewalk Cafe

A business must have a Sidewalk Café license and revocable consent if it operates a portion of a restaurant on a public sidewalk. You must be cleared of debts owed to the city before the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) can issue you a license.

New Business Acceleration Team (NBAT) assists individuals and groups opening food and beverage establishments by navigating City agency processes and reducing the time needed to open. NBAT provides client management services, an accelerated plan review process, and coordination of necessary inspections by regulatory agencies. New restaurants, bars that will serve food, bakeries, supermarkets, and butcher shops may be eligible.

Before you apply for a license, you must prepare the following:

  • Current Food Service Establishment Permit OR Permit Application from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • Sales Tax ID Number OR Certificate of Authority
  • You must confirm with the Department of City Planningthat your proposed sidewalk café meets the zoning requirements
  • You must ensure that the distance from the property line to the curb is at least 12 feet wide for the entire length of the proposed sidewalk café
  • Employee Identification Number
  • Business Certificate based on your business’s legal structure

The following documents must be completed and submitted along with your application in order to file for a DCA License. Once you click the link, you will be directed to a PDF format where you may print and complete all of the necessary forms.

Please note that if you file in person, every document that has (7) before it, requires that you submit 7 copies of that document.

The mission of the Queens Economic Development Corporation is to help small businesses.  In view of the Coronavirus, we are taking the following steps:

  • We have compiled a Resource Guide detailing programs to assist small businesses.  These include loans, grants and other aid available through Federal, State, City, and Private agencies. The Resource Guide can be accessed here. It is updated as we receive new information.
  • Assistance in filling out application and all other client services will be done remotely via telephone. To request an appointment, email and you will be contacted within 24 hours.  Please know our office in Kew Gardens is closed.
  • The Entrepreneur Space Commercial Kitchen Incubator is fully operational and staff is taking additional steps to ensure that it is a safe environment for our clients. For more information, please call 718 392-0025.
  • The Queens Tourism Council is working with our cultural, recreational, restaurant and sporting communities to support them as best we can.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.  Be careful, help those who are vulnerable and wash your hands.


Queens Together

Fuel the Front Lines is an initiative of Acting Queens Borough President Sharon Lee, Queens Together, Queens Night Market and the QEDC to help to meet the needs of front line healthcare workers, other emergency responders, and Queens communities in need through partnerships with local independent restaurants and food businesses. We will fill the urgent need for nourishment while at the same time providing a lifeline to the small businesses that define our neighborhoods. Make your tax-deductible contribution and help us deliver good food made with love by workers in Queens, for people in Queens.