City of Tampa to shut down select streets to cars to help small businesses

This street image of Ybor City in front of Tequilas Bar is courtesy of Jason Fernandez

The featured restaurant is hosting a special Cinco De Mayo celebration from 11am-11pm Tuesday. Full details on Tequilas Facebook page.


On any given day before this pandemic the streets of the City of Tampa would be flooded with car and pedestrian traffic. Beginning May 4 restaurants and retailers in Tampa can begin catering to customers on premises with 25% occupancy inside, and tables spaced 6 feet apart outside.

In an effort to help further stimulate businesses throughout Tampa, the city proposed closing down select streets to cars entirely. These new Business Recovery Zones will run for 14 days during the pilot program.

The outdoor space may be used during normal business hours, but restaurants must require reservations from customers for use of the expanded outdoor seating.


This is intended to help restaurants expand capacity, not to encourage mass gatherings.

Here’s the list of proposed street closures:

General requirements for restaurants to operate outside include that all staff wear masks while working.

The city is also allowing for the use of on-street parking spots as parklets.

City Officials have also temporarily waived the requirement for a permit for sidewalk use. Once again, these businesses must adhere to CDC guidelines, keep 6 feet of space between tables, and the use remains subject to landlord approval.

You can see the full Economic Development Plan online.

A quick note from the Ybor City Chicken Society for those dining outside in Ybor City:

“Please please please – DO NOT FEED the chickens. So many foods that you wouldn’t suspect are harmful to them and we do NOT want them to develop begging behaviors.”


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