Temporary outdoor dining grant program

In response to initial health order directives prohibiting indoor dining, outdoor dining has become an essential option for local eateries to sustain themselves while safely serving the community.

With the goal of providing financial assistance to local eateries to support installing new temporary outdoor dining options, the Menlo Park City Council has collaborated with the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce and the San Mateo County Economic Development Association (SAMCEDA) to develop a temporary outdoor dining grant program.

The approved program will award one-time business grants to install new temporary outdoor dining tables, chairs, heat lamps, umbrellas, platforms and ramps. Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to eligible applicants, up to an aggregate of $100,000 for all grants.

Eligibility requirements 

Eateries must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Applicant is a properly licensed and permitted businesses that serve food and beverages and are located in the City of Menlo Park’s corporate boundaries (pop ups, hotel restaurants without businesses licenses, and food trucks are NOT eligible)
  • Applicant has operated lawfully on or before the proclamation of a local emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, March 11, 2020, and were still operating as of December 8, 2020
  • Eateries that have changed ownership after March 11, 2020, and were still operating as of December 8, 2020, are eligible
  • Applicant is an independent brand that has no more than five locations in San Mateo County, regardless of same or different ownership
  • Applicant is in full compliance with all local regulations including but not limited to County environmental health regulations, city/county planning, building, public works, business license, and local minimum wage ordinances. 
  • Valid city business license
  • Valid certificate of occupancy from San Mateo County Health
  • Current inspection grade of “C” or better
  • No active code violations
  • No active COVID-19 health order violations
  • Government-issued photo identification for business owner (s)
  • Undocumented businesses owners may also apply

The following factors render a business ineligible:

  • Incomplete applications
  • Businesses with active applications or approved grants from any of the following:
    • Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center $3.5 million program for County of San Mateo Phases I and II
    • San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund $1 million program for San Mateo County Strong Fund Small Business Grant Program Phase II
    • Previous grant funding through the City of Menlo Park 5:5 grants or contributions toward the construction of new temporary outdoor dining options
  • Businesses with active code violations or COVID-19 health order violations
  • Home based businesses and independent contractors such as catering companies, cottage food operators and microenterprise home kitchen operations
  • Pop ups and food trucks
  • Corporate-owned franchises
  • Operating within a hotel without a separate business license
  • Unlicensed and unpermitted businesses

Please fill out the application form if you believe your restaurant meets the eligibility requirements detailed above and you will be contacted by a member of the program team.