‘A good option’: City to allow Oahu restaurants to apply for outdoor dining permits

As part of a two-year pilot program, the City is opening permit applications for eateries interested in outdoor dining.
Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 5:47 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 10, 2022 at 8:49 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As part of a two-year pilot program, the City is opening permit applications for eateries interested in outdoor dining.

Oahu restaurants can apply on the Department of Transportation Services online application portal starting on Monday. Hotels, clubs and bars can also participate.

The Other Side Diner was one of the eateries along Hotel Street in Downtown Honolulu that offered outdoor dining.

Manger Greta Weinrich said the pandemic option helped attract customers and they’re considering in bringing it back.

“I think actually, the outdoor dining does bring in more business because people see people outside and then they kind of come in,” said Weinrich. “Versus it’s easier to walk by a place that doesn’t have a lot going on outside.” Hotels, clubs and bars can also participate.

Among the rules for outdoor dining, service will not be allowed between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Officials said DTS will implement the outdoor dining services pilot program and issue permits to approved applicants.

Starting Monday, Oahu restaurants can apply for a City and County of Honolulu permit for outdoor dining.

There is a $50 application fee and approved permits will be valid for six months.

Floor plans, insurance and copies of food and liquor permits are required.

Weinrich said they’re figuring out how to maximize the space and use it most efficiently.

“We only had like a couple of tables out there, so I think the question was really is it worth it for us to have the outdoor dining out there,” said Weinrich.

The city said the program is designed to provide an economic boost.

Foodies are excited for the return of outdoor dining.

“I think it’s a good option especially when there are spikes in the COVID numbers,” said Grace Welton of Waikiki.

“I think that’s always a good option to have indoor or outdoor dining,” said Colleen Bernal of Honolulu. “Definitely depends on what the weather is and how humid it is, but generally we prefer it if it’s nice out.”

“As long as there’s good amount of shade, I think a lot of people in Hawaii like the option of having the breeze blowing through and just enjoying good food outdoors,” said Nathan Salmon of Waikiki.

Click to watch the City’s Office of Economic Revitalization webinar to learn more about the application process.

To access the application, click here.