NYC Makes Outdoor Dining “Permanent Year-Round”

Gothamist reports:

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that outdoor dining, which has become a major lifeline for the restaurant industry during the pandemic, will become “permanent and year-round.”

“I want us to go for the gold here, and take this model and make it a part of the life of New York City for years and generations to come,” de Blasio said while making the announcement on The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday. “This will make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive.”

Restaurants will be allowed to expand into sidewalks and curbside spaces in front of adjacent storefronts if the other business agrees to it (as long as they commit not to charge a fee for its use).

Patch New York reports:

The move requires some administrative and City Council-approved changes, de Blasio said. He said officials will work on arrangements for outdoor heating through the winter.

Restaurants can also build enclosed, heated outdoor spaces for dining but those must follow indoor dining capacity limits currently set at 25 percent, he said. As an alternative, they can opt for continued open-air seating, he said.

“That’s a choice for restaurant owners, they can do either way,” he said. Indoor dining returns to New York City on Sept. 30.