City of New Bern amends its ordinance for street cafes

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – The City of New Bern has amended its ordinance to allow for street cafes.

The concept aims to help restaurants citywide in their economic recovery from coronavirus and allow them more room to serve patrons during the State of North Carolina’s Phase 2 reopening, while also exercising stringent social distancing and capacity guidelines. 

Phase 2 is anticipated to begin on Friday and last for 4-6 weeks.

The Street Café Permit allows restaurants, upon approval, to serve patrons outside of their facilities. 

In the downtown area, the City has agreed to close portions of streets on Friday and Saturday nights from 5 pm-11 pm so that tables and chairs may be set up for outdoor dining. 

These street closures include:

  • 200-300 blocks of Middle Street
  • 200 block of Craven Street from Morgan’s Tavern & Grill to Pollock Street
  • 300 block of Pollock Street

For restaurants with sufficient green space or parking lots, the city will suspend zoning enforcement for outdoor dining and parking requirements so that these restaurants may serve outdoors.  

Such restaurants need only provide a sketch to the city’s Development Services Department that shows the outdoor dining area to ensure that the dining area provides for emergency service ingress and egress.  

There is no fee associated with this request to serve outdoors.

If a restaurant operator is renting their space, the owner of the property should endorse the site plan and sketch of where the outdoor dining area will be located.

Download or print the Street Café Permit here and follow the instructions below to apply:

1.Complete the required fields.

2.Collect the necessary documents on the checklist.

3. Bring the documents to Development Services, 303 First Street, for final approval of your café location.

Development Services is open Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm.

The Street Café Permit is only good for the duration of the State’s Phase 2 reopening plan. 

Restaurants may not exceed their indoor seating capacity when combining the number of outdoor and indoor tables. 

For questions, call Development Services at 252-639-7581.         

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