City of New Orleans Parklet Pilot Program Expands Citywide

NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans announced this week that its Parklet Pilot Program is expanding citywide. One component of the City’s Outdoor Dining initiative, the Parklet Program allows restaurants and bars to use on-street parking spaces in front of their restaurants for additional seating. This can provide additional dining spaces for restaurants while the occupancy limits are reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The pilot launched earlier this month to businesses downtown, and today the City is expanding those boundaries citywide. The application fee has been waived until Dec. 31. The pilot program is expected to run for as long as there are COVID-related occupancy restrictions in restaurants and bars. After that, the City is expecting to launch a permanent parklet program. Details regarding the transfer from pilot to permanent parklet program will be released as the permanent program is developed, but it will require re-permitting. The City will work to make that process as seamless as possible for Pilot participants.

“This administration is working collaboratively with the business community to fuel our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, by helping our bars and restaurants better utilize outdoor spaces,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I want to thank our team and our community partners for working quickly and efficiently to make this a citywide endeavor. I want to thank the City Council for their collaboration on this work, especially District C Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer as chair of the Transportation Committee and District B Councilmember Jay H. Banks as chair of the Community Development Committee,”

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“Our small businesses — and particularly our restaurants and bars — are the backbones of New Orleans community and culture, and we know that they have been deeply impacted by COVID,” said Jeff Schwartz, director of the City’s Office of Economic Development. “With this permit, almost every restaurant and bar in the city will be able to have some outdoor space, which we know is safer than being indoors. The launch of the parklet permit citywide is another example of how the City of New Orleans is creatively utilizing its assets to support our businesses, create safe spaces for residents, and activate our neighborhoods.” 

Pilot Parklets are required to provide a barrier along the active right-of-way. To aid in this expense, the City has acquired 200 barricades that can be provided to businesses on a first-come first-serve basis. These will be placed by the City in coordination with the applicant for the pilot period.

The first round of outdoor dining grants supporting sidewalk cafés will conclude this Friday, Oct. 30. The second round of grants — for parklets and curbside dining areas — will begin on Monday, Nov. 2. To stay up to date, visit outdoordiningnola.com.

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Program Overview

  • Restaurants and bars are eligible to apply for the permit during the pilot.
  • Fees are waived during the pilot at least through Dec. 31.
  • Pilot will run for as long as there are COVID-related occupancy restrictions in restaurants and bars.
  • The City can provide barricades on a first-come, first-served basis, after which businesses will need to supply their own approved barriers. Barriers will be an eligible expense under the upcoming round of outdoor dining grants.
  • Outdoor dining grants of up to $2,000 will be made available to interested businesses beginning Nov. 2.

How to Apply

Starting today, the City will be accepting applications through the City’s One Stop Shop, and by email at outdoordining@nola.gov. Review the pilot program application requirements and a step-by-step overview of the process at the City’s website here, and view a copy of the application here.

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