Monday, October 19, 2020 8:45AM-3:30PM FREE

Colorado Restaurant Winter Outdoor Dining Charrette/Design Workshop

Colorado restaurants need our support! Help by participating in a winter design charrette/workshop to create realistic, fun and inexpensive concepts around cold weather outdoor dining.

The State of Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRF), American Council of Engineering Companies of Colorado (ACEC), the American Institute of Architects Colorado (AIA) and the Associated General Contractors of Colorado (AGC) have teamed up with other design and construction professionals in an effort to encourage and support restaurants in the creation of outdoor dining spaces this winter.

Restaurants are the fabric and culture of our great state! Yet many are struggling to survive. Restaurants are adhering to very limited indoor dining capacities due to COVID-19 regulations. While dining rules have changed due to the pandemic, the cost of doing business has not. And many of our establishments will not make it through the season if we don’t help them increase their overall capacity. With an abundance of creative professionals in our state, we are sure to receive innovative and feasible solutions to make outdoor dining not only viable in the winter, but also comfortable and fun, and inclusive of the many stakeholders involved.

What Does The Program Entail?

Part 1 – Design Charrette

We will bring together design professionals, contractors, public health officials, representatives from local fire departments, building officials, restaurateurs and more to participate in a design charette (a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project come together to attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions) to create feasible ideas for outdoor dining concepts through Colorado’s cold- weather months. The solutions should be relatively inexpensive, fit within all building and fire codes, and keep the staff and guests comfortable and safe. Concepts from the charrette will be publicized to the media, the public and restaurateurs around the state – as inspiration for their own creations.

Part 2 – Restaurant Grant Program

We are raising funds to distribute grants to eligible restaurants towards designing and building their outdoor winter dining spaces. Funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies (ex: permit fees, tents, heaters). Grants will be distributed through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation*, a 501c3 non-profit that serves as the philanthropic arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association. If you’d like to make a contribution, please click the donate button below.

About The Charrette


Monday, October 19, 2020, 8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Kickoff by Gov. Polis at 8:45 a.m.)


ZOOM meeting (participants will be sent instructions)


  • Parking Lot
  • Urban Street – Open to public
  • Urban Street – Closed to public
  • Urban Sidewalk/Right of Way
  • Mountain Resort Area with pedestrian mall Mountain Resort Area street
  • Nearby/Adjacent Park
  • Nearby/Adjacent Private Property
  • Rooftop


  • Governor Jared Polis
  • Jill Ryan, Executive Director, Colorado Dept. of Public Health & Environment
  • Colorado Tourism Office (Cathy Ritter)
  • Colorado Office of Economic Development (Betsy Markey)
  • 1-2 Architects per team (AIA will appoint)
  • 1 Landscape Architect per team (ASLA will appoint)
  • 1 General Contractor per team (AGC will appoint)
  • 2-4 Engineers (MEP/Structural) per team (ACEC will appoint)
  • Fire Dept – 1 per team
  • 1 Local or State Public Health official (CDPHE will appoint) per team
  • 1 Building Code Official per team
  • 1-2 Restaurateurs per team (CRA will appoint)
  • Suppliers/material manufacturers (tent manufacturer, heater manufacturer, etc.)


Each team will be assigned a location type. Teams will be charged with creating a design concept that can be easily and relatively inexpensive to construct, while keeping the staff and guests comfortable and COVID safe, while following applicable local and state health guidelines, building and fire codes and other constraints.

How to participate:

Contact your professional or trade association listed above. The Colorado Restaurant Association will coordinate with the Governor’s office on participants for all other categories.