Permanent Outdoor Dining Secures City Council Approval

Building on previous sidewalk café law and the emergency pandemic-era program, the city council voted to establish a newly revised permanent outdoor dining program on August 3rd. In addition to being accessible and inclusive to more restaurants by making the participation costs more affordable and reduce the timeline of the required processes to receive approval, guidelines established by Introduction 31-C will allow sidewalk cafés to operate year-round, and for the first time permanently allow roadway cafés to operate during the 8 months of April through November. According to Crain’s New York Business, the city plans to create a flexible modular “kit-of-parts” by partnering with design experts that could include “key pieces of outdoor dining” such as “barriers to provide diner protection, signage to promote accessibility and seating that can adapt to many kinds of roadways.” In addition, the “kit can be vetted, code-compliant and pre-reviewed by relevant city agencies,” while allowing for customization with assurance that the setup would be entirely legal. A further convenience of the kit design would be its ability to collapse for easy storage in the off season and add built-in trash containers.