Pop-Up Dining: Business FAQs

The City’s Department of Economic Development staff was featured on Frederick’s Small Business Resiliency Series -- outlining the general guidelines & permitting process of the new Pop-Up Dining programs. The live session also allowed live viewers to ask questions regarding  these new outdoor dining opportunities. 

The full video is available to view here.


Additional common questions, not addressed by the webinar, are below: 

  • Can the businesses decorate or paint the barriers in any way for the parklet? 

For safety reasons, the traffic barriers must remain unaltered. No items may be placed on top of or on the traffic side of the barriers.  On the Parklet side of the barriers only, restaurants may improve the ambiance by hanging items like strings of lights or install lattice work.  No item may be taller than the barrier (42”). 

  • Are tents allowed in new dining locations?

Tents are not permitted. 

  • Are umbrellas allowed? 

Umbrellas may be used but must be limited in size, plain in color, and have no markings or graphics.  Umbrellas shall not overhang sidewalk areas or into travel lane.  We recommend rectangular umbellas which allow maximum coverage in two directions without extending over other areas.

  • In the road closure areas, can we have "standing" only areas or do people all need to be seated?

Restaurants are required to enforce social distancing guidelines in their designated dining areas. Seated dining provides the easiest method to manage these requirements. Standing bar rounds are permitted -- assuming the restaurant regulates capacity and patron distancing. 

  • Will businesses outside the street closure area be able to set up tables there? 

As of now, the in-street dining option is only available to businesses located along the street closure route. The City may reevaluate this decision later. 

  • Is live music allowed? 

Live music is not permitted at these locations. 

  • How will lighting work at new outdoor dining locations?  

Many in-street dining and park locations will benefit from existing City street lights. For additional light sources in public spaces, restaurants are encouraged to explore battery-powered options. No generators shall be used and no wires shall be strung into or over public outdoor dining locations. The Department of Economic Development is available for additional specific inquiries/requests. 

  • Will some "regular" street parking be retained on the cross streets, or will everything near Market Street be reserved for curbside pick-up?

Only a portion of side street space will be reserved for curbside pick-up. 

  • Can restaurants set up a temporary outdoor bar in the street closure areas? 

Permission to establish an outdoor bar area is subject to Liquor Board approval. From a City perspective – any outdoor dining/drinking area will require a clear method for social distancing regulation by the restaurant.

  • Can a restaurant take advantage of more than one outdoor opportunity? 

Yes! We are happy to match as many solutions to your needs/model as possible. However, due to space constraints, there are some limitations (i.e. parklets are not permitted along the Market Street temporary road closure route; and some sidewalks do not afford enough space to accommodate both a sidewalk café & a parklet). If you are interested in multiple opportunities, and are unsure if it will be permitted – don’t hesitate to reach out to us for specific answers! 

  • Are there any parking accommodations within the Curbside Pick-Up & Pop Up Dining programs to maintain handicap accessibility throughout the Downtown area? 

Visitors with a current handicap placard or tag are able to park at any designated Curbside Pick Up Zone for a full hour before needing to move or be subject to enforcement.  Additionally, per State regulations, all other parking areas (with the exception of loading zones) are available for handicap parking at all times. Appropriately marked cars may park at 2-hour metered spaces for 4 hours of free parking before needing to either move or pay the meter. 

Have additional questions? 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Department of Economic Development for help or more information!