Downtown Chapel Hill

Sidewalk Dining Grant

Sidewalk Dining Grant

Sidewalk dining adds vibrancy and energy to our wonderful downtown and we want to encourage restaurants to get in on the fun!  For a limited time the Downtown Partnership will be offering $400 grants for downtown Chapel Hill businesses to pay for sidewalk dining furniture as well as the cost of the sidewalk dining permit.  

This is NOT a matching grant!  Grants will fund the purchase of sidewalk dining furniture of up to $400 per business while funds are available.  This is a reimbursement grant on purchases that have not yet been made.  You can not apply for grant funds to pay for sidewalk dining furniture purchased in the past.  This grant is intended for businesses seeking to offer dining on public downtown sidewalks or street level private space directly adjacent to the public right of way.  

The Process:

  • Apply for the Sidewalk Dining Grant (see button below)
  • Discuss your proposed sidewalk dining with a Downtown Partnership representative
  • Apply for your Sidewalk Dining Permit to the Town of Chapel Hill.  Application Here 
  • Applicants must adhere to Chapel Hill's Sidewalk Dining Ordinance Found in Municipal Code 17-86 through 17-88 which includes but is not limited to these details:
    • A minimum of 6 feet wide of clear passage must remain for pedestrian traffic on sidewalk
    • Tables and chairs may have a maximum height of 4 feet, maximum length of 5 feet and maximum width of 3 feet
    • A minimum of 3 feet of clearance between seating and the curb is required where parking or standing of vehicles is permitted 
    • A minimum of 10 feet from a fire hydrant, an alley used by vehicles or a handicap parking space
  • Sidewalk Dining Permit Applications need to be submitted to the Town's Inspections Department to Chelsea Laws ( as well as to Emily Cameron in the Public Works Department ( for approval.

For more information on this and other Downtown Partnership services & programs contact Bobby Funk at or 919-967-9440.

Application for this grant is not an indication of approval of this grant.  After this application is submitted someone from the Downtown Partnership will contact you to assist you as you go through the approval process for sidewalk dining.