Restaurant, bar, & retail reopening guidelines

Restaurant, bar and retail temporary relief program

In conjunction with the Governor’s guidance for openings, the City of Lexington will temporarily allow restaurants, bars and retail to expand their business footprint onto portions of adjacent sidewalks, public rights-of-way, parks or privately owned facilities without meeting certain city code and permit requirements, if the business otherwise complies with the Ordinance. This has recently been extended and now has an expiration date of October 31, 2021.

This program will enable restaurant, bars and retail businesses to temporarily expand capacity and safely serve more patrons. Opportunities for outdoor expansion include:

  • Temporary use of sidewalks – no LFUCG permit required
  • Temporary use of on-street parking or other public rights-of-way – LFUCG permit required
  • Temporary use of private parking lots – no LFUCG permit required
  • Temporary use of public parks – LFUCG permit required
  • If a tent larger than 120 square feet is desired for use in any of the above spaces a Tent Permit must be obtained in addition to the permits as noted above.

General requirements

The executed ordinance outlines specific requirements to utilize adjacent public sidewalks, private parking lots, on-street parking, parks or public streets closed to motor vehicle traffic. The retail business or restaurant must, for the entire period of temporary use:

  • Possess liability insurance in the minimum amount of $2 million per occurrence, covering the expanded location and naming the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government as an additional insured which cannot be terminated or cancelled without 30 days notice to the government for use of public sidewalks, on-street parking, or public streets closed to motor vehicle traffic, and
  • Obtain the private owner’s permission to use the space
  • Assume responsibility for any and all damage to public property that occurs within the retail business’ or restaurant’s use of additional outdoor space
  • Regularly pick up, remove and dispose of all trash or refuse left by the business or its patrons in its additional outdoor space
  • Refrain from blocking fire hydrants
  • Avoid use of designated spaces for disabled parking
  • Prohibit smoking in the retail business’ or restaurant’s additional outdoor space
  • Erect boundaries to physically identify the retail business’ or restaurant’s use of additional outdoor space
  • Install physical barriers or barricade to protect patrons from motor vehicles if seating or retail use is immediately adjacent to an active roadway or within a private parking lot
  • Install temporary lighting to illuminate and delineate the boundary of the retail business’ or restaurant’s additional outdoor space when used at night
  • Clearly define the walk zone for pedestrians on sidewalks to provide the clearance required by the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Comply with social distancing requirements as implemented by the governor. The walk zone must begin six feet away from outdoor seating or the restaurant’s or retail business’ physical boundary identifying its additional space
  • Otherwise comply with the requirements of local, state, and federal law, including, but not limited to, the Americans with Disabilities Act, state and local Alcohol Beverage Control regulations, health department regulations, local ordinances for which enforcement was not suspended under this ordinance, and Executive Orders and business opening requirements issued by Governor Andy Beshear

Resources and applications


if you have questions or wish to submit a permit application, email Brandi Peacher at