What is San Jose Al Fresco?

The City of San Jose is temporarily relaxing existing regulations to allow the use of outdoor areas next to businesses. The Emergency Declaration was signed onJune 4, 2020.  

Under this declaration, SanJose Al Fresco (link: www.sanjoseca.gov/sjalfresco) allows businesses to utilize sidewalks to conduct business during shelter-in-place, while adhering to Social Distancing Protocols.

Do I need a permit so I can set my business up outside? Is it FREE?

  • Under the relaxed rules, ground-floor businesses without existing permits for outdoor operations or seating, may now register (www.sanjoseca.gov/sjalfresco) to expand their operations into privately owned outdoor areas, such as a parking lot, adjacent to their business and/or use public sidewalks in front of their business for temporary seating.
  • The temporary rules are in effect until Dec. 31, 2020, unless the local emergency ends earlier or the City reinstates existing regulations.

What if I already have outdoor dining & outdoor shopping?

Businesses that currently have permits for operating outdoor seating/dining do not need to apply-their existing permitting still applies.

Restaurants must follow the County's outdoor dining guidance.

Things to know before you apply? 

  • If you want to use a private parking lot, you will need to prove written permission from your landlord, and a diagram of how you want to utilize the space.
  • If you are registering to use the public sidewalk that runs along the frontage of your business, you must provide a certificate of insurance naming the City as the insured.

How do I register?  

Businesses without existing permits need to register through the City of San Jose's website. It's FREE. If you do not register, and are operating outside without permission from the City you may be asked to cease that operation.

Once your registration is submitted, you will be able to start utilizing the space adjacent to your business immediately, as long as you meet the terms and conditions described in the application.

Businesses can find more information and register at www.sanjoseca.gov/sjalfresco. Restaurants must follow the County's outdoor dining guidance. https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Pages/learn-what-to-do.aspx#outdoor-dining

What non-restaurant businesses can register for San Jose Al Fresco? 

Non-restaurant businesses may use public sidewalks outside their business as a seating area for customers who are waiting for service.

They may use privately owned, paved parking lots adjacent to their business to provide certain services.

This applies to all retail businesses that were allowed to re-open according to the Santa Clara County Order effective June 5, 2020.




If you have questions, email the San Jose’s Office of Economic Development at covid19sjbusiness@sanjoseca.gov


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