You are reading

City’s Outdoor Dining Program Now Permanent and Year-Round

Ditmars Boulevard (NYCDOT)

Sept. 25, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York City’s popular outdoor dining initiative will now be year-round and permanent, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The “Open Restaurants” program, where restaurants can set up outdoor dining on sidewalks and streets, will continue into the fall and winter months, de Blasio said.

The “Open Streets: Restaurants” part of the program, in which restaurants can serve patrons at tables on specific roads closed to through traffic, will also be permanent and year-round.

According to city hall estimates, Open Restaurants has enrolled more than 10,300 establishments  and has saved roughly 90,000 jobs citywide since it began in June as a response to COVID-19.

The program was originally set to expire at the end of October, but many advocates, business owners and elected officials called on the city to continue it year-round.

De Blasio said the program will be a new tradition for New York City as it recovers from the pandemic.

“Open Restaurants was a big, bold experiment in supporting a vital industry and reimagining our public space. And it worked,” de Blasio said in a statement. “As we begin a long-term recovery, we’re proud to extend and expand this effort to keep New York City the most vibrant city in the world. It’s time for a new tradition.”

The city will also allow restaurants to expand their outdoor seating to the front of adjacent properties, which was previously prohibited. The adjacent property owners must formally agree to the use of the space for a specified period of time at no fee.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) will issue a template agreement and provide further instructions early next month, City Hall said.

Restaurants who choose to continue with outdoor dining can set up heaters and tents to keep diners warm as cooler weather arrives.

Electric heaters will be permitted on both sidewalks and roadways, while propane and natural gas heaters will require a permit from the FDNY and are only allowed on sidewalks. The city will release official guidance on the use of heaters by the end of September, City Hall said. Restaurants cannot install heaters until then.

The city has also set rules for tents. Restaurants can choose to use a partial tent where at least half of the tent’s sides are open or a full tent at 25 percent capacity in line with the indoor dining rules.

Indoor dining in New York City is set to reopen at 25 percent capacity on Sept. 30.

City Hall will work multiple city agencies and the City Council to make the regulatory changes and guidance necessary to make the program permanent, de Blasio said.

Ridgewood Council Member Antonio Reynoso said he looks forward to working with the mayor on legislation to codify the outdoor dining program into law. The City Council is set to hear his bill next Wednesday that would do just that.

“The outdoor dining program has been an unequivocal success for both businesses and the public,” Reynoso said. “Outdoor dining has not only provided a lifeline for restaurants, it has demonstrated how our public streets can be transformed to create the dynamic spaces that make New York City special.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com

One Comment

Click for Comments 
A Steinway resident for 70

Great its about time that decision was made. Now if he would Resign.
Its always better to leave on a high note.

Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

‘Ghost car’ driver arrested in East Elmhurst after traffic stop reveals weapons, threatening note: NYPD

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst discovered an arsenal of weapons in a ghost car they pulled over on Ditmars Boulevard and 86th Street in East Elmhurst early Wednesday morning.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey held a press briefing at the 110th Precinct on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the sergeant and three officers from the 110th Precinct public safety team found when they pulled over a black Ford Explorer at around 1:30 a.m. because it had blacked-out license plates.

Henry ‘Hank’ Krumholz, stalwart pioneer of Queens LGBTQ Pride, dies at 73

Henry “Hank” Krumholz, a pioneering gay rights activist in Queens, passed away on Sunday in his Flushing apartment at the age of 73.

Krumholz played a crucial role in the establishment and success of the Queens LGBTQ Pride Parade, which is held annually in Jackson Heights. He joined the parade’s sponsoring organization right after its inaugural event in 1993 and continued his involvement for decades. His passing came just a week after this year’s parade on June 2, marking its 31st anniversary.