Relief has come for Miami’s sidewalk cafes

A sign reading "Still Open" hangs outside of Atchana's Homegrown Thai restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020, in the Coconut Grove neighborhood in Miami. Restaurants continue to offer outdoor dining and take-out only, with indoor dining still not permitted in Miami-Dade County. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

MIAMI, Fla. – Restaurant owners all across the City of Miami can breathe a sigh of relief. A resolution was passed on Thursday to waive fees for sidewalk permits.

Commissioner Ken Russell sponsored the bill that will bring some financial relief to hard hit restaurants in the Brickell, Coconut Grove and Midtown areas, where sidewalk cafes are popular.

Sidewalk fees can range anywhere from $3,000 to $20,000 annually. Last year, the city collected more than $106,000 in fees.

Sidewalk cafes have increased in popularity over the last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Restaurant owners, who want to add sidewalk tables, now will be able to do so and will not be charged. This benefit will stay in effect until the state of emergency due to the pandemic, is lifted.