Philadelphia streeteries to become permanent fixture as city unveils new outdoor dining program

Streeteries are here to stay. After first popping up during the pandemic, Philadelphia is making them permanent. The city is unveiling its new outdoor dining program, meant to address concerns about allowing streeteries to take up public space.

Good Dog Bar, on South 15th Street in Center City, has an expansive streetery. The general manager says it was pivotal to their survival the last two years, but under new city streetery regulations, it can now only be in front of the restaurant.

"We’re not going to be allowed in front of the neighboring structure, even though the bank is 100 percent cool with us being out here," General Manager of Good Dog Bar, Jeff Kile, said.


It means Good Dog will only have about three tables in its streetery, which it invested a lot of money to build.

"We hired for this. It’s a big thing. I’m gonna have to let a lot of people go, if we don’t get to keep this," Kile explained. "It’s gonna be…it’s gonna be tough."

Streeteries can only be six feet wide, with no propane heaters. They must have crash-proof barriers. They cannot be with 15 feet of a fire hydrant, 20 feet of a crosswalk and 30 feet of a stop sign.

"You know there are winners and losers here. We do have to follow state guidelines, so a lot of corner restaurants may lose some of their streeteries, because they are going to be too close to the corner," Ben Fileccia, with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, said.


Fileccia says the initial regulations were way more restrictive and believes the city listened to restaurants concerns.

"There was a $60,000 bond the restaurants would have had to pay. They lowered that to zero. There was a clause that said if there was inclement weather, you would have to remove your streetery. They got rid of that clause," Fileccia explained.

The managing partner at O’Neals Bar on South 3rd Street is not happy and doesn’t think city leaders listened to them at all.

"I gotta look and see what they’re asking for to see if its worth doing, because if it’s more money we gotta put out, it becomes an expense, an expense, an expense," Managing Partner of O’Neal’s Pub, Spoonie O’Neal, stated.