Dodge City approves Sidewalk Cafe ordinance

DODGE CITY -- Dodge City commissioners on Monday approved a sidewalk cafe ordinance for downtown restaurants.

“We received requests from restaurant owners within the Heritage District downtown to allow alcohol and food be allowed onto the sidewalks,” Dodge City legal counsel Brad Ralph said. “The restaurants would be allowed to have tables in front of the premises for patrons.”

Ralph said after seeing similar ordinances in areas throughout the state, the city amended the ordinances based off two concerns.

“The first concern is maintaining the sidewalks be unobstructed from foot traffic,” Ralph said. “The other is general liability concerns to make sure that the city is doing what it should do to allow alcohol to be sold on what is technically its premises.”

The ordinance would provide a process for the restaurant to come to the city and request a sidewalk cafe license, which would allow the restaurant to have access to areas on the city sidewalk to serve alcohol or food.