Sidewalk Cafe License

Mobility Permits Section - HPWMP1002
Houston Public Works
Mobility Permits Section

611 Walker, 5th Floor
Houston TX 77002

8 am to 4:30 pm
Plan Review
Admin fee
Renewal fee
Valid Period
1 year


Sidewalk café shall mean an outdoor dining area located on a sidewalk and containing removable tables, chairs, planters, or related appurtenances.

After Approval

Non-scheduled, unannounced inspections are conducted.

The permit holder must accept all terms of the permit conditions and execute them in a timely manner.

Conditions & Exceptions

A sidewalk café license is issued in the licensee's name and cannot be assigned, sold, or otherwise transferred.

What You Need

As a part of the application, the applicant must provide:

  • The name and street address of the applicant.
  • The name and street address of the owner of the abutting property.
  • A description of the owner, if other than a natural person, including its legal status (i.e., corporation, partnership, etc.) and a general description of the type(s) of business the owner operates on the abutting property.
  • Written authority in the form of a power of attorney from the owner to submit the application if the applicant is not the owner of the abutting property.
  • The name and street address of the registered agent for the service of process, if the applicant represents a corporation; or the names and street addresses of the officers or partners, if the applicant represents an association, partnership or other entity.
  • The name and street address of the operator, manager or other person responsible for the operation of the sidewalk café.
  • The name under which the sidewalk café will be operated.
  • The street address and the city food establishment license number of the sidewalk café.
  • One or both of the following:
    • A copy of a title policy covering the abutting property and verification by the owner that there has been no change in ownership since the issuance of that policy; or
    • A certified copy or copies of the most recent deed or deeds conveying all or a portion of the abutting property so that ownership of all of the abutting property is accounted for, and verification by the owner or owners that there has been no change in ownership since the date or dates of that deed or deeds.
  • A site plan of legible proportions prepared by a registered public surveyor or professional engineer
  • Detailed drawings of legible proportions showing the design, dimension and proposed location of all temporary structures , the proposed public clearance way and the side and front elevations of the proposed sidewalk café. In addition to the above-noted drawings the traffic engineer may require detailed drawings at a scale of ½ inch equals one foot showing the front facade of the abutting property and at least ten feet of the first story facade of adjacent buildings.
  • The seating capacity of the proposed sidewalk café and the seating capacity of the restaurant which will be associated with the sidewalk café, if any.
  • A copy or copies of the certificate or certificates of insurance required.
    • $1 Million combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage for each occurrence. 
    • $2 Million annual aggregate
    • City of Houston additional insured
  • Written documentation showing that adequate public water and sewer utilities are available to serve the sidewalk café.
Apply Online

1. Log in or Register for a GIMS account
2. Complete Roadway/Sidewalk/sidewalk café/general permit application
3. Once permit is completed, an email notification will be sent upon approval or the contractor will be notified.

Apply in Person

For assistance with applying, visit us at:

611 Walker, 5th Fl.
Houston, TX 77002

Prior to applying in person, please contact 832.395.3020.

What You Need

Appointments are set up through the Inspectors responsible for that specific area.

Submit Plans in Person

Applicants may bring their plans in person to:
611 Walker, 5th Fl.
Houston, TX 77002

What You Need
  • A sidewalk café licensed shall be subject to an inspection by the traffic engineer or his representatives at any time such an inspection is requested.
  • No notice from the traffic engineer prior to such an inspection shall be required.
What You Need

Renewals can be submitted by following the same log in procedures (GIMS)

Renew Online
  1. Log in or Register for a GIMS account
  2. Click the Pay Now link, once permit renewal is submitted.
  3. Accepted forms of payment are credit/debit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover)
  4. Once payment is received, permit can be immediately printed.
Renew in Person

To renew is person, visit us at:

611 Walker 5th Fl.
Houston,TX 7002

Applicants may use lobby computer for assistance.

Conditions & Exceptions

Any outstanding balances must be paid prior to or at the same time the permit is renewed. A zero due balance is required to generate new permits.

Insurance certificate and cash bond/annual surety bond on file must be current.