According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC restaurant owners may get the green light to begin re-opening outdoor dining as early as July.
“New York’s restaurants are part of what makes us the greatest city in the world. They’ve taken a hit in our fight against COVID-19 – and there’s no recovery without them,” de Blasio said. “Our Open Restaurants plan will help these businesses maximize their customer base while maintaining the social distancing we need to beat this crisis once and for all.”
While details of the plan are limited, here are the basics:
- Restaurants will be able to convert parking spaces in order to use the road alongside the curb for dine-in service.
- The city is working to create a simpler, quicker process to approve sidewalk seating that would require owners to maintain appropriate paths for pedestrians and those with disabilities.
- The city has created designated many “open streets” to provide more space for New Yorkers to social distance. Restaurants on those marked streets will be able to use that space to creating outdoor seating areas.
Since outdoor dining typically requires restaurant owners to go through an extensive process of review to obtain permits, the city will need to refine the process and provide restaurants with tangible guidelines.