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People are pictured sitting at tables on the footpath outside a pub at night.
Adam Hollingworth/HiredGunOutdoor dining at the Old Fitzroy Hotel | Photo: Adam Hollingworth / City of Sydney

This summer will be all about outdoor dining, thanks to a call made by the City of Sydney

Council has made a decision that means footpath dining will remain a fixture of city life

Written by
Alice Ellis

Hip hip hooray, outdoor dining is officially here to stay! Lord mayor Clover Moore asked City of Sydney councillors to support her bid for fee-free outdoor dining (explained below!) to continue. At the latest council sitting, her bid passed unanimously. Which means Sydneysiders will be dining in the open air for years to come.

Here’s the background: in pre-Covid times, venues had to pay fees to put tables on the street. Waiving these fees was one of the first things the City of Sydney did when the pandemic hit, to encourage social distancing. “People have really embraced it, with participating businesses telling us they've taken on extra staff and seen increased patronage – a crucial aid to staying afloat in these difficult times,” said the lord mayor in a statement before the council sitting.

Thanks to the vote, fee-free outdoor eating and drinking will now continue. So we’ll be able to enjoy another summer and beyond of streetside eating à la romantic European evenings. 

This outcome goes to show that although the pandemic has been devastating, it’s also led to some welcome developments that will gradually enrich our urban lives. “An appetite for reform, and an unprecedented level of collaboration with the State Government, has made a range of initiatives we have long dreamed about – like street closure parties or outdoor dining – possible for the first time,” said Moore. 

Take Open for Lunch for example, which will shut down Sydney streets to cars for a Friday-arvo street party to kickstart summer on Friday, December 2.

It may be windy in Sydney right now, but the forecast – for this weekend and also Sydney’s future – is sunny. Go on, get out there.

Hungry? Check out the best outdoor dining spots in Sydney.

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