Streatery on Pickney StreetIn 2022 outdoor dining continued to be in high demand by residents and visitors across the City. Once the snow and cold moves out with the Wisconsin winter, we anticipate many City of Madison residents will be eager to enjoy outdoor dining again in 2023. Starting in January, the City will continue to work with restaurants and bars to obtain licenses for our permanent Streatery program. I am thrilled that this initiative, created in response to the Covid-19 shutdown to help keep restaurants in business, has expanded and become a permanent staple across Madison.

In 2022 we received more than 70 applications for roadway and sidewalk cafes, and we hope to keep the momentum going! Madison was one of the first cities in the country to make the pandemic changes permanent, recognizing a desire among both residents and businesses for outdoor dining opportunities.

The program allows restaurants and bars to expand their outdoor seating onto the public right-of-way; including sidewalks, terraces, the parking lane and the roadway. Additionally, a temporary outdoor seating option is now allowed on private property during the warmer months.

As part of the program, the City is also working to improve accessibility for outdoor dining customers as well as refining education on how businesses can create spaces that are welcoming to all.


Roadway cafes, which expand into parking lanes, are licensed to operate April 15 - November 15, while Sidewalk Cafes, which expand onto public sidewalks and terraces, are licensed to operate all year long, with the season running April 15 - April 14 annually.

 Remember – outside dining is not just an experience you can have downtown. Restaurants and bars in The Atwood Ave/Winnebago St. area, Park/Drake St. area and adjacent to University Ave are also participating in the Streatery Program. If you’re a business owner interested in having outdoor dining in the right-of-way, contact the Street Vending Office at or call 608-261-9171. For outdoor dining on private property, contact the Zoning Office at 608-266-4551.

Thank you to everyone who has continued to support our hospitality industry through the pandemic and times of transition. We’re looking forward to the next season of outdoor dining!

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