Street cafes now legal in KC as city council helps bars and restaurants battered by coronavirus

Get ready for the summer of the street cafe. Or Peak Patio. Or Paris on the Plains, part deux.

The city council of Kansas City, Missouri’s largest city, today voted to legalize street cafes.

The ordinances, which Kansas City magazine was the first to report were coming, will allow bars and restaurants to file for a no-fee permit to close off parking spaces and lots outside their establishments and extend patio cafes out onto them. They can set up tables and chairs and count the new space toward their total occupancy, making room for spots that would otherwise be forced to slash capacity to unsustainable levels.

The new rules take effect immediately so bars and restaurants can begin applying now.

“I would love to make Westport more of a pedestrian plaza, including but not limited to shutting down Westport Road and Pennsylvania for two blocks on both ends of the intersection,” Mayor Quinton Lucas told Kansas City last month. “This provides us a moment to see what that would look like. It’s a time when we need spacing anyway. Let those restaurants operate like you would see in Europe, get more table space out there, particularly in the warm weather months, so we don’t have just a farce of a six-foot distance requirement, which we would have if we don’t do things like this, but an actual six-foot limit.”

We’ve already heard about cool plans for some bars and restaurants, including a large brewery that plans to have an epic parking lot patio ready for your enjoyment on June 1.

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