The Prague City Council approved 223 new lease agreements for outdoor seating outside restaurants within the Prague Heritage Reserve area. By signing such agreement, operators undertake to comply with the Outdoor Seating Manual for Restaurants. At the same time, the City Hall carried out a second round of compliance inspections for 142 agreements concluded earlier.
The new agreements concern operations in the Old Town, New Town, Lesser Town, Prague Castle, Josefov, and Vyšehrad. The reason for the new contracts is the city’s long-term effort to refine its historic center, get rid of visual pollution and make some of the main tourist routes easier to navigate. In some locations, the manual prohibits awnings that are not part of the architectural design of the building, unnecessary landings, massive fencing, cabling from indoor establishments, or elements, such as taps, coolers, barbecues, cash registers, loudspeakers, TV screens, and carpets.
“I would like to thank all the operators who have fully complied from the very beginning as well as those who responded positively to our objections raised upon the first inspection and quickly remedied the respective deficiencies. We insist that the rules apply to everyone. After the first round of inspections, we notified non-compliant operators without imposing contractual penalties. However, we are now going to impose sanctions because some operators have continued with their misconduct and will apparently fail to remedy the situation unless faced with a penalty. One of the most serious offenses is exceeding the contractually defined outdoor seating area. This causes Prague to lose money on rent and the respective city districts on local fees, while the offending operator enjoys an unjustified advantage over its competitors,” says Councilor Adam Zábranský.
The new lease agreements are concluded for three years with the possibility of extension for an indefinite period of time if neither party wished to terminate the agreement. The amount of rent is fixed per square meter per day. It varies by location and may take into account other circumstances, e.g., if the establishment offers free public access to the toilet, or if it closes later than 10 p.m. It is also forbidden to advertise on the outdoor furniture.