City of Sacramento offering grants of up to $20,000 to expand outdoor dining

The City of Sacramento is offering up to $20,000 in reimbursable outdoor dining grants through its “Al Fresco” outdoor dining program.

Funded through the federal American Rescue Plan, the Al Fresco grant program will provide reimbursable grants to support the cost of building or expanding a permanent outdoor dining patio or sidewalk café within the public right-of-way or on a private parking lot.

“Sacramento’s al fresco dining scene is a tremendous addition to our city,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “I encourage restaurants to take advantage of this opportunity to create additional safe and beautiful dining experiences for our community.”

The Al Fresco outdoor dining program started during the pandemic in 2020 when indoor dining was shut down.

City Council approved a permanent Al Fresco program in June 2021, which included pre-approved engineered layouts and customizable design options and a streamlined permitting process.

“The Al Fresco Dining Program’s fee schedule and grant program demonstrate a commitment to permanency for high-quality, outdoor dining experiences in the heart of the nation’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” said Downtown Sacramento Partnership Economic Development Director Scott Ford. “City staff has been engaged with the private sector to bring forth a thoughtful and well-balanced approach.”

To be eligible for Al Fresco grants, restaurants must be independently owned and operate in the city of Sacramento.

Grantees can incur reimbursable expenses between Jan. 11, 2023, and June 1, 2024. Projects must be completed, and expenses submitted by June 30, 2024. These expenditures include costs of materials and supplies such as chairs, tables, umbrellas, and costs and fees associated with design, construction and labor.

Restaurants owners interested in expanding outdoor dining can browse engineered layouts, and customize their design based on budget and available space, before starting the permit application process.

City staff will be working closely with local Chambers of Commerce and Property Business Improvement Districts to communicate with local restaurants across the city about the Al Fresco program and grants.

Translators will be available to assist grant applicants that need language assistance.

Find more information on the Al Fresco program and grant eligible expenditures and eligibility requirements on the City’s website at

General questions can be sent

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