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Posted on: May 28, 2020

Process for Temporary Permit for Loudoun Food & Beverage Establishments to Add Outdoor Seating

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As the region prepares for easing restrictions put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Loudoun County is outlining the process for temporary approval for restaurants and other food and beverage establishments that want to add or expand their outdoor seating.

Under Phase One of the Forward Virginia reopening plan, restaurants, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries have the option to operate with outdoor seating if they have a permit from the Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (Virginia ABC) for the sale of alcohol. 

To obtain approval for added or expanded outdoor seating from the Virginia ABC, the establishments must show that Loudoun County has approved the seating area. To obtain written approval from Loudoun County for adding or expanding outdoor seating, establishments must submit an application for a Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit and include a sketch of the area to be used. There is no fee for this application. Issued approvals will be effective once Loudoun County enters the first phase of the reopening plan, which is scheduled to occur Friday, May 29, 2020. The temporary permits will expire on the expiration of restrictions on indoor occupancy in the Governor’s Executive Orders or the Board of Supervisors rescinding the county’s Declaration of Emergency due to COVID-19, whichever comes first.

The occupancy of the outdoor seating area may not exceed 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy previously approved for indoor seating. In addition, the outdoor seating must:

  • Be on the same parcel as the establishment that it serves.
  • Not be located within any vehicular travel lanes, fire lanes, handicapped accessible area, or required access to and from the building. 
  • Not block pedestrian walkways or be located in an area that will block the use of parking spaces required for the establishment. 

Establishments in Loudoun’s incorporated towns should seek approval from the town. 

If tents or other temporary structures are used, they may require a permit from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal’s Office, depending on their size. 

More information, including application requirements and a link to the Temporary Outdoor Seating Permit application, is online at loudoun.gov/outdoorseating.

Loudoun County encourages residents to stay informed about COVID-19.

  • Visit loudoun.gov/coronavirus for more information about how to protect yourself and your family and to sign up for email and text updates on COVID-19.
  • Text LCCOVID19 to 888777 to receive text alerts from Loudoun County about COVID-19.
  • Text LCCOVIDESP to 88877 to receive text messages in Spanish from Loudoun County about COVID-19.  

Residents with questions about COVID-19 may call the Loudoun County Health Department’s information line, 703-737-8300, or send an email

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