DENVER, CO — Denver has extended its outdoor patio expansion program through Oct. 31, city officials announced Thursday. The program allows restaurants and bars to temporarily increase their outdoor service capacity area, which includes expansion into adjacent streets, sidewalks, and parking lots.

As of Thursday, 273 restaurants and bars in the city have been approved to expand their serving capacity outdoors, the city said.

Ashley Kilroy, the city’s excise and licenses executive director, said the extension was announced after “overwhelmingly positive feedback from the public and calls from owners of restaurants and bars to extend [the] program.”

“Restaurants and bars have faced some of the harshest economic consequences from COVID-19,” Kilroy said in a statement. “It’s important that restaurants and bars know we will continue to support their recovery with this program as long as it does not negatively impact Denver’s efforts to stifle transmission of the virus.”

Future public health orders due to an increase in COVID-19 cases or any other changes to rules and regulations “can still result in the program being suspended or ended,” city officials said.

If they aren’t hindering the public right of way, businesses that are in compliance with public health guidelines will receive automatic renewals —unless their neighborhood requests a hearing, the city said.

Businesses that have expanded in the public right of way will work with Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to ensure certain requirements, such as liability insurance coverage, are met through the new program end date. The department will initiate the renewal process for the businesses, the city said.

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to add recorded ambient or background music and television to their outdoor serving area if it does not disturb the neighborhood, officials said.

There is a required five-day posting to allow neighborhood input for all businesses that want to extend their participation in the program or add recorded music or televised programming.