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Temporary Outdoor Dining Areas Allowed

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In response to the impact of the State/County public health orders and limitations on foodservice business operations and indoor dining the City Council has approved an Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance to authorize the temporary closure of streets, on-street parking, public parking as well as temporarily suspend the regulations to allow outdoor dining on the public right of way and on private property to facilitate the use of temporary outdoor dining to support the reopening of the City’s foodservice businesses. An Emergency Order was issued on May 22 and has supporting language to be used in conjunction with the Emergency Ordinance and can be located here.

The Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance went into effect on May 28 until September 8 and can be located here.

This webpage provides design guidelines and directions on establishing a temporary outdoor dining area in the various locations that are adjacent to foodservice businesses such as sidewalks, on-street parking spaces, on the portion of closed State Street and other approved street closures as well as on private property.

However, in order for foodservice  businesses to reopen and operate a temporary outdoor dining area they  must complete their self-certification with Santa Barbara County.

Dining-in Foodservice Businesses Can Reopen by Completing Self-Certification Process with Santa Barbara County 

Before foodservice businesses can reopen in Santa Barbara County, they are required to review state and local guidance, complete a COVID-19 Prevention Plan*, and self-certify that they can open safely; all of which can be found at

Upon completion of the self-certification, businesses receive a certificate to print and display attesting to a safe and clean environment for workers and customers. The County will be requiring ALL businesses, whether you've been open or are just now allowed to open, to complete the self-certification program: 
-     Complete your foodservice business specific checklist
-     Complete the attestation by completing this form
Post the foodservice business checklist and the attestation at your business to show your customers and employees you have reduced the risk and are open for business.
Businesses now permitted to reopen must adhere to social distancing guidelines provided by the Governor and the Santa Barbara County Health Officer include. 

For the County's guidelines on how to reopen, please refer to the RISE Guide. The State has provided Guidance for Dine-In Restaurants, Checklist for Dine-In Restaurants can be useful in the planning process. These documents help businesses understand how to adapt procedures and practices for this next stage of reopening. 

For general questions about Stage 2 reopening and general COVID-19 information, the public may call the Santa Barbara County Call Center at (833) 688-5551.

Expansion of Business Space to Outdoor Areas

To expand outdoor dining space to the sidewalk and street along State Street downtown, please adhere to these rules and regulations.

To expand outdoor dining space to on-street parking areas, please review the Parklet Guidelines.

To expand outdoor dining space to private parking areas, please review the Guide to Temporary Outdoor Dining on Private Parking Lots.

To expand outdoor dining space onto State Street or a sidewalk adjacent to your foodservice business, please review the State St. and Sidewalk Guidelines.

Foodservice Businesses Seeking Alcohol License For Newly Established Outdoor Dining Areas

The City has established a dedicated email address or telephone number to respond to foodservice business inquiries at or 805-560-7520.

Outdoor Dining Areas Design Guidelines and Approvals

  • Any foodservice business with an Alcoholic Beverage Control License wishing to expand their Planned License Diagram into the public space
  • ALSO, any public-facing retail alcohol establishment that can document financial relationship with a bona fide eating establishment or meal service vendor
  • While the State maintains your privilege to sell alcohol – The City governs the business practices in which you serve alcohol
  • Foodservice businesses seeking to serve alcohol in newly established outdoor dining areas must apply for and obtain a temporary catering ABC license. To apply for a temporary catering ABC license follow the following steps.
  1. Go to website: ABC.CA.GOV
  2. Scroll down to “COVID-19 Temporary Catering Authorization Application
  3. Hover over the words with your mouse and click on the link
  4. STOP – save the application to your computer so you are not filling the application on the browser 
  5. Also, Complete ABC Form 253, the form can be accessed at this link or can be located here

If a hospitality establishment such as a wine tasting room or brewery is seeking to have an outdoor dining area in which they desire to have alcohol service but does not normally provide meal service as part of their operation must have a contractual relationship with a third party meal service vendor.

  • If you are entering into an agreement with another person/entity for meal service, you must also submit a copy of the agreement or contract which establishes the details of this business relationship.

The State of California ABC Office is currently closed so the license application must be mailed to their office at:

1000 South Hill Road, Suite 310
Ventura, CA 93003
Phone is (805) 289-0100
Email is

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2020
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