Planning & Inspections

ROW Cafe

The Right-of-Way Café program in El Paso offers an exciting opportunity for food and beverage businesses to enhance their establishments by extending their service areas towards the public sidewalks and on-street parking. The program aims to create a lively and communal dining experience, allowing patrons to enjoy their meals and beverages in an outdoor setting. With El Paso’s abundant sunshine and beautiful downtown, right-of-way cafes are a perfect addition to the city’s vibrant food and restaurant culture, supporting local businesses and promoting community.

Key features of the Right-of-Way Café program include:

  1. Alfresco Dining Experience: Right-of-Way Cafes offer customers a unique and relaxed dining experience, with tables and seating placed outdoors, allowing them to savor their meals in the fresh air and enjoy the city’s atmosphere.
  2. Temporary Use of Public Space: The program allows participating restaurant and licensed business to temporarily utilize city sidewalks and portions of on-street parking to set up open-air seating areas.
  3. Support for Local Businesses: By facilitating the expansion of restaurant services into public spaces, the program aims to support and strengthen local businesses, contributing to the growth of El Paso’s food and restaurant culture.

Learn more about the requirements and see examples in the Right-of-Way Café Handbook.

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When is a permit necessary?
A right-of-way café permit is required when city sidewalks and public on-street parking are used for outdoor dining directly abutting an existing food and beverage establishment.

What is a right-of-way?
The right-of-way refers to a designated area of land owned and controlled by the City of El Paso or the Texas Department of Transportation. Please review our handbook for additional information regarding what constitutes the right-of-way.

Who may apply for a permit?
Operators of a right-of-way café must be business licensed to serve food and beverages. The applicant does not have to be the property owner, but if they are not, they must have a valid lease for the building abutting the proposed right-of-way café.

What is the annual fee for an Outdoor Patio Right-of-Way Café Permit?
The annual fee for the outdoor Patio Right-of-Way Café adheres to the Schedule C fee list. This fee must be paid before the permit is issued and can be settled through a cashier’s check or business check (payable to the City of El Paso). Please note application fees are non-refundable.

  Sidewalk Café Permit Parking Parklet Permit
Application Fee $371.00 + applicable technology fee $371.00 + applicable technology fee
Annual Fee $159.00 + applicable technology fee $2,000.00 per metered space + applicable technology fee

What construction is allowed?
An outdoor patio right-of-way café shall not be enclosed by permanent structures.

What are the Insurance Requirements?
Certificate of Liability. A certificate of liability insurance or self-insured affidavit with the required liability limitations as required per Section 15.08.120G of the El Paso City Code. Liquor liability insurance will be required separately for requests to sell and serve alcoholic beverages on City right-of-way. Certificate of liability insurance must be in accordance with the State of Texas Certificate Law. City of El Paso must be listed as the “Certificate Holder” as well as “Additional Insured” under the descriptions section. In addition, coverage must meet the following limitations:

  • $1,000,000 in General Commercial Liability for Personal Injury/Death per Occurrence;
  • $2,000,000 in General Aggregate Coverage;
  • $1,000,000 in Property Damage
    • 5,000,000 if located within 50 feet of the streetcar