Outdoor Dining Is Becoming The ‘New Normal’ In Bars and Restaurants Across Sydney

Bars, Cool Sh*t, Drink, Eat, Sydney / 25 September 2020
get the latest straight to your inbox

Outdoor Dining Is Becoming The ‘New Normal’ In Bars and Restaurants Across Sydney

Bars, Cool Sh*t, Drink, Eat, Sydney / 25 September 2020

Discover the laneways, streets and parking spots being transformed into outdoor dining spots this summer.

This year has brought tremendous change to all of us. From navigating lockdowns and restrictions to pivoting to remote working, the shape of our daily lives has never looked quite like this. And for those in the hospitality industry, 2020 has been one of the most challenging to date.

But, we’ve found another example of resilience to share with you. In an effort to boost capacity numbers at venues across Sydney, al fresco dining spots are popping up in new and unexpected locations. From alleyways to unused parking spots, Sydney bars and restaurants are finding innovative ways to host their guests (while abiding by COVID-safe restrictions).

The move towards al fresco dining comes from a pilot program created by The City of Sydney. As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, the program is proposing a new streamlined, 5-day approval process to make it easier for businesses to offer outdoor seating in the CBD.

It’s all part of a move to revive the CBD and encourage Sydneysiders to explore and visit their favourite venues (while remaining COVID-safe). This news also coincides with the recent announcement by the NSW government who are hoping to make Sydney a 24-hour city with relaxed regulations regarding live music, noise regulations, food trucks, small bars and more.

The program proposes to offer outdoor seating along Crown Street in Surry Hills as well as Pitt Street and a section of Barrack Street in the CBD. The program has set up a task force (which includes government agencies such as Liquor & Gaming NSW, NSW Health and the NSW Police Force, as well as local governments) to reduce the admin and red-tape currently involved in moving venues outdoors.


While the program hopes to kick off prior to summer, we’ve already seen examples of venues embracing al fresco dining this month. The crew from Darlinghurst’ Love Tilly Devine small bar have created outdoor seating running along their adjoining laneway. Not only is this move perfect for the warmer months but gives punters more opportunity to visit their favourite, intimate venues in a socially distanced way.

Find out more about this about the NSW government’s outdoor dining for summer taskforce here