Redevelopment

Dine Out During COVID-19

The City of Lincoln has launched Dine Out Lincoln to help dine-in establishments cope with the loss of capacity related to COVID-19 and current Directed Health Measures created to help keep staff and patrons safe.

Dine Out Lincoln will allow restaurants and other establishments the opportunity to temporarily expand their business footprint into private spaces and/or the public rights-of-way.

Dine Out Lincoln will include a streamlined permit review process. City departments, through a single committee, will review Dine Out Lincoln applications.

Dine Out Lincoln temporary arrangements will be allowed to waive some City Code and permit requirements.

Click here the Dine Out Lincoln Application for Private Property or Public Property.
For the fastest response, please be sure the application is completely filled out and all required submittals are included. Digital applications will be accepted at cityclerk@lincoln.ne.gov. Also, as a new program, these applications may be revised. Please check this webpage for the most current version just before you apply.

As described in the application, an accurate site plan is required as part of the submittal. Attach one copy of the site plan on 8 1/2" by 11" paper indicating the following:

  • Location of the expansion in relation to the restaurant, including restaurant ingress and egress (if applying for a liquor addition, the licensed areas must be contiguous),
  • Dimensions of the site,
  • Property ownership -- public and/or private,
  • Entrances and exits,
  • Table layout illustrating the required distancing between the back of chairs,
  • Locations of temporary bollards and/or fencing,
  • Use and size of tents or other shade structures on private property if proposed (See Tent Permit application),
  • If ADA parking is displaced, please find opportunities to replace that parking,
  • ADA path (a minimum of 36 inches wide) through the site, and
  • Any additional equipment or uses of the site, such as hand washing stations, bar, fans, heaters, garbage, etc.
If the site is located on public property, the site plan must also include:
  • Location of curb, poles, parking meter posts, benches, trash cans, and other items in the right of way and the clearance distances between fencing and those items. (A minimum 5 foot clear path must be maintained.)
  • If you would like to close the street, please contact us for additional information. Street closures will require additional information and review.

Applications for Liquor Permit Additions
For applicants intending to serve liquor in the temporary area, please apply for an addition to your existing liquor permit. These applications will be subject to approval by the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission (NLCC). Because additions are intended to be temporary, applicants should also fill out and submit the deletion form. Submitting both forms together, along with the printable attachment, will reduce your fee to $45, and give you the opportunity to have an expedited process.

Liquor Permit Additions that are intended to be temporary will be nominated for a shorter review process at the Lincoln City Council. The State will review these applications concurrently.
Please Note: Applicants who do not have a liquor permit and intend to serve alcohol in the temporary area will need to become a licensed establishment before this process can be used.

Dine Out Lincoln Question & Answer Sessions are scheduled on Zoom for July and August. If you would like to participate in a Q&A session, please with your name, your business, phone, and liquor license number.

For more information, contact:

  • Regarding Dine Out Lincoln application requirements and use of public space:
    Hallie Salem, Urban Development Department, 402-441-7866, hsalem@lincoln.ne.gov
  • Regarding liquor permit requirements:
    Tonya Peters, Law Department, 402-441-7200, tpeters@lincoln.ne.gov
  • Regarding the safety inspection before use:
    Chuck Schweitzer, Bureau of Fire Prevention, 402-441-6441, cschweitzer@lincoln.ne.gov
  • All other questions:
    Sony Phan, City Clerk’s Office, 402-441-7437, sphan@lincoln.ne.gov

Restaurants wanting to establish a permanent outdoor dining area in the public right of way should fill out a Sidewalk Café Application. This process may be slightly longer as we work to ensure all requirements are followed.