Do you need a NYC Outdoor Dining Plan? Now that outdoor dining in New York City has been officially made permanent by Mayor Bill de Blasio, more than 10,000 restaurants have begun offering outdoor dining.
Outdoor Dining in NYC offers a mix of seats along streets closed off to cars and sidewalk seating. NYC’s current outdoor dining plan will be expiring this October 31, and owners were concerned about what would happen, but luckily enough, they were helped out by Mayor Bill.
Since last summer, many restaurants have set up outdoor dining and have kept them because of the pandemic. Since then, more streets have been closed to cater to restaurant seats and outdoor dining, and new provisions have been placed to address the restaurant’s needs, especially in the upcoming months and winter.
NYC Outdoor Dining Plan
In this article, we’ll list everything you need to know about NYC outdoor dining, including the extension of outdoor seating and extra roadway safety measures.
Outdoor Seating Extensions
Starting October, as long as the restaurants have reached an agreement and acquired permission from the neighboring landlord, restaurants can now extend outdoor seating into the adjacent properties beside them. This means that more restaurants will have the chance to get more space for their customers.
As of the moment, NYC restaurants are only allowed to have outdoor seating in front of their establishments. Some have tried but obviously failed, as evident by the city’s Department of Transportation calling them out.
As of the moment, the city is now in the works with the State Liquor Authority to expand licenses by restaurants that are a requirement to serve alcohol outdoors, especially on adjacent properties. The DOT will also be releasing a new agreement in October that will be allowing restaurants to set up for the provision.
The city will be loosening what was once a strict rule on heating to cater to customers’ needs because of the rise of the demand for outdoor dining facilities. In the winter, electric heaters will be allowed on both sidewalks and curbside with dining setups.
As a safety precaution, however, propane and natural gas heaters will only be allowed on the sidewalk as they are still a hazard to some extent. They will be prohibited inside curbside dining facilities.
A permit from the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) will be required to use propane heaters. According to the mayor’s office, a more detailed guide on the installation regulations and approved ways of using heaters will be released by the FDNY by the end of September. Before these guidelines are released, however, restaurants will not be allowed to install heating equipment yet.
Additional Roadway Safety Measures
Driving is harder in the winter, and as a precaution, some restaurant owners and managers in the city have contacted the city to prepare for possible car crashes. The office says that additional safety features to strengthen roadway barriers will be implemented during winter.
Although the plans aren’t solidified yet, the city assures that extra precautionary measures will be implemented by November 15. Government officials also warn that they may have to remove some roadway dining setups by winter to clear the streets after snowstorms.
Restaurants will be allowed to put tents over their outdoor dining areas to avoid rain and possible snow during the peak of winter. For partial tent enclosures, at least 50% of the tent’s walls must be open, and for restaurants that will opt for fully enclosed tents, seating will be limited to 25% and must follow indoor dining guidelines.
Only electrical heaters will be allowed inside the tents to avoid unwanted fires. Enclosed personal spaces such as plastic will be allowed for outdoor dining. Still, they must have proper ventilation to allow for regular air circulation, and indoor dining guidelines are to be followed.
Although we suggest you avoid outdoor tents, especially those fully enclosed, the choice will still be there for you to avail of if you want to enjoy the aesthetics and feel of outdoor dining but with privacy. On the occasion that you do, we hope you observe all safety protocols to avoid the virus.
With this NYC Outdoor Dining Plan you are more likely to have an enjoyable meal in New York City, and better help you plan out where to eat! For more local NYC guides like this one be sure to visit our site often.