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Guide to the ADA Standards

Dining Areas in Restaurants and Cafeterias

In newly built restaurants and cafeterias, an accessible route must serve all dining areas, including those that are raised or sunken or located outdoors (§206.2.5).  If a story or mezzanine is exempt from the requirement for vertical access, an accessible route within each story or mezzanine is still required to connect dining areas and other spaces and elements even though an elevator (or ramp) does not serve the story or mezzanine. 

Restaurant dining area

alterations icon

In alterations, an accessible route is not required to existing raised/ sunken dining areas or to all parts of outdoor dining areas if the same services and decor are available in other dining areas that are accessible (§206.2.5, Ex. 2).  A platform lift (or limited use-limited application elevator) can be used to provide access to such areas in alterations, but not in new construction (§206.7).


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