With outdoor dining previously set to end on October 31st, Mayor Bill de Blasio has just announced it will be sticking around permanently.
Back in August we were all under the impression that outdoor dining would be extended through winter, but today the mayor announced that outdoor dining will be a year-round mainstay moving forward. Additionally, the Open Streets program that selects street closures for outdoor dining across the city has been made permanent as well.
Under new regulations, restaurants will be allowed to expand their outdoor seating in front of neighboring businesses with their landlords consent. Restaurants can set up plastic bubbles and even tents for their customers to dine under. Tents with a full enclosure must follow indoor dining policies with a 25% capacity, while tents that leave 50% of it’s side area open can proceed under the outdoor dining capacity of 50%.
With propane and natural gas heaters allowed on sidewalks only, a city press release stated that “propane will require a permit from FDNY and compliance with FDNY regulations for outdoor use, handling and secure outdoor tank storage overnight.” Electrically powered heaters will be permitted on both the streets and sidewalks.
Mayor De Blasio supports this new decision by stating that “this will make it a lot easier for restaurants to survive” in an announcement on The Brian Lehrer Show. He hopes this practice of outdoor dining can even become an essential part of NY life in the future.
[featured image source: Photo courtesy of Chelsea Market]