NEW YORK - Mayor Eric Adams announced a crackdown on unused outdoor dining sheds across New York City, but made clear that "outdoor dining is here to stay."
Using a sledgehammer, Adams took a ceremonial first hack at an unused structure in Midtown at a press conference on Thursday.
"The blight and disorder we're witnessing at home of our sites is unacceptable," Adams said.
The Mayor's office organized the photo op, not to outlaw outdoor dining sheds, but to highlight ones that had fallen into disrepair and announce the enforcement of a higher standard for their cleanliness and safety.
"It can't be a safe haven for rats. It can't be a safe haven for illegal behavior," Adams said.
The city tore down 25 dining sheds this week after warning their owners multiple times to clean them up and promised further multi-agency enforcement of derelict outdoor dining structures going forward as the city works to standardize the requirements for more permanent replacements.
To date, the city has removed nearly 100 dining sheds and encourages residents to call 3-1-1 to report any cleanliness or safety violations among the others.