City Wide Outdoor Dinning Options for Restaurants

By-right Restaurant Operations into Private Parking Lots

On June 16, 2020 the Fayetteville City Council unanimously amended 172.04(B)- Parking Lot Design Standards of the Fayetteville City Code. The amendment enables restaurants City wide to utilize private parking lots for expanded dining (restaurants wishing to serve alcohol in their private parking lots must apply for an ABC temporary rule change) and safer seating without any review or approval process. The only condition is that the expanded outdoor dinning does not interfere with safe and functional circulation of pedestrian or vehicular traffic on the site

8/18/2020 Update: Bars and private clubs can now apply to extend their ABC Permit Boundary: Click here to review the temporary rule change from ABC

Restaurant’s and Bars Serving Alcohol Beyond their Approved ABC Permit Boundary

Restaurants and bars who wish to serve alcohol in their private parking lots or else where on their property in an area that is not within their approved ABC permit boundary can apply for the Outdoor Service rule change with the Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division. ABC Outdoor Service areas must be clearly defined by a temporary boundary and include 5"x7" signs stating "No alcohol beyond this point" where the ABC Director decides. 

What is the process to obtain an approved Outdoor Service Area through ABC?

Interested restaurants and bars will need to include an exhibit annotating the requested outdoor service area boundary, the type of material used to define the boundary, and proposed locations of "no alcohol beyond this point" signs, when submitting to ABC. You do not need a to submit an exhibit when applying to the City. 

  1. Contact the City of Fayetteville Planning Division or Andrew Richmond and request a verification letter of approval from the City. 
  2. Submit verification letter and exhibit of requested outdoor service area to Robyn Davis with ABC. Please annotate in the subject line of your email that it is a "Outdoor Service Rule Change Request". 
  3. Once ABC has approved your request, restaurants are free to serve alcohol in the outdoor area.

Frequently asked questions:

Q: I own or operate a restaurant or bar within the Outdoor Refreshment Area boundary, can I utilize the ABC temporary rule change for outdoor service or do I have to utilize the Outdoor Refreshment Area?

A: In some cases, restaurants or bars within the O.R.A. boundary may be able to utilize both the ABC temporary rule change and the O.R.A. sidewalk cafe permit processes. To explore if this approach is right for you, please contact the Department of Economic Vitality.

Q: What is the difference between the ABC temporary rule change for outdoor service and O.R.A. sidewalk cafes? 

A: The ABC temporary rule change for outdoor service is available for all restaurants and bars in the City of Fayetteville, not just those located within the O.R.A. boundary. The ABC temporary rule change enables the expansion of a restaurant’s alcohol service area to go beyond their existing license boundary, whereas the Outdoor Refreshment Area sidewalk cafe allows patrons to consume and possess alcohol purchased from the establishment the sidewalk cafe area. The ABC temporary rule change for outdoor service also requires a temporary boundary, such as a rope or flagging tape to annotate the outdoor service area. The sidewalk cafe does not require a temporary or permanent boundary. 

Q: Can bars, private clubs, and performance venues apply for the ABC rule change for Outdoor Service to serve alcohol beyond their liquor license boundary? 

Yes, the City of Fayetteville worked with ABC to bring the ability to extend serving boundaries to bars and private clubs. You can read the announcement from ABC by clicking here.