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Today the City of Madison is announcing a new program to aid restaurants who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has had a major impact on the restaurant industry, having been unable to serve indoor or outdoor dining customers since March 23, 2020.

Now that Dane County has entered into Phase 1 of its Forward Dane Phased Reopening Plan, which allows for only limited occupancy of restaurants, the City of Madison has created a “Streatery” Restaurant Recovery Program to allow expanded outdoor dining. This mayoral emergency order temporarily allows restaurants to expand outdoor dining onto the public sidewalks, on-street parking areas, or in privately-owned parking lots through a streamlined administrative approval process, enabling restaurants to expand their capacity while administering physical distancing guidelines.

“Our new Madison Streatery Program is a direct response to requests from neighborhoods and small businesses to create new opportunities for outdoor dining, placemaking, and physical distancing,” says Mayor Satya. “I am excited to open up these new spaces for seating so we can enjoy summer with great food, and support the local businesses that make our City so special —all while maintaining good practices to prevent community spread of COVID-19. The sustainability of our small business community is important, and this is just one way the City can help.”

Tiffany Kenney, Executive Director of Madison’s Central Business Improvement District, shared: “We’re looking forward to working with the City to find creative ways to enable restaurants to get back to business. I don’t know what could be more fun than spending time at an outdoor café in downtown Madison.”

This program is temporary and will expire on October 25, 2020 or the date that Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) allows restaurants to return to normal operations, whichever is sooner. This program is subject to all local, State and Federal Heath Orders, laws and guidelines. Further guidelines and information will be forthcoming as the details of the program become finalized.

The Mayor’s Emergency Order and this “Streatery Program” are not intended to create gathering or social spaces for larger crowds and/or events, and only allow restaurant patrons to be seated in accordance with physical distancing requirements to increase capacity and support our local restaurants.

The City has designated several streets that could be considered for more substantial Café Zones in which the City will close selected portions of an entire street and require detours for vehicles. The street would maintain fire and bike access as well as a delivery lane. These zones would close the street for the duration of this program. In the interest of public safety, full street closure locations and hours of operation are approved and deployed by the City of Madison in advance.

Streets under consideration for this program are listed below. Please note that not all streets under consideration for this program will be administered.

  1. 100 Block of East Mifflin Street
  2. 100 Block of East Main Street (*must maintain access to parking garage)
  3. 100 Block of West Main Street
  4. 100 Block of South Pinckney Street
  5. 100 Block of South Carroll Street
  6. 1900 block of Atwood Avenue in area of the angled parking

Sidewalk Cafes License: Meghan Blake-Horst,
Zoning- Private Parking Lots: Matt Tucker,
Street Occupancy Permit: Michael Duhr,
Alcohol License Permits: Clerks Office,


  • Megan Blake-Horst, 608-261-9171
  • Katie Crawley, 608-335-7071