City council to vote on future of outdoor dining in NYC

The New York City Council is set to vote Thursday on permanent regulations for outdoor dining in the city.

A new bill put forward by Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez of the Bronx would protect the city's curb-based cafes, dining areas seen on sidewalks, but and roadway cafes, the more permanent dining sheds you see outside of restaurants would have to be taken down.

Outdoor dining became a boon for restaurants across the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, but constantly changing rules have made things difficult.

"The outdoor cafés are somewhat in limbo, the roadside dining in limbo, and if they don’t pass, many restaurants will not be able to survive," said Jeremy Wladis, who owns three restaurants on the Upper West Side.

"Sheds will be no longer, and it will be 8 months out of the year that we will be having those licenses for," Velázquez explained. 

Wladis believes that what’s on the table right now is a good step in the right direction.

"I think it’s reasonable because there’s not going to be a lot of people sitting outside December, January, February, March in this city," Wladis said. 

For Velázquez it’s a start to getting a foundation in place. 

"This is an opportunity for us to recreate what will the next steps be," Velázquez told FOX 5 NY.

The committee vote will be held Thursday at 10:30 am. The council-wide vote is set for later that afternoon.