"It’s going to be standardized. It’s going to be much more sustainable than much of what you see on the roadways right now," said Andrew Rigie, the executive director of New York City's Hospitality Alliance who’s onboard with what’s proposed so far.
It allows outdoor dining year-round on sidewalk cafes, and offers specific guidance for constructing street cafés allowed from April to November.
What do the proposed rules include?
- Clear design requirements.
- Laying out where outdoor dining set-ups can be located in relation to subway entrances, fire hydrants.
- Laying out the types of materials that can be used in outdoor setups.
"You’re going to see more umbrellas, canopies and maybe a light structural, things that are less permanent physical structures like buildings in the roadway," Rigie explained.
The set-ups must maintain clear sidewalk paths and emergency roadway lanes and include water-filled, rat-resistant protective barriers for roadways.
David Arias, the owner of Bodega 88 on the Upper West Side, said over the last couple of years, he’s been frustrated changing his outdoor dining structure to adhere to the changing rules, and now, he welcomes the more permanent guidelines.
"That’s the problem, the goal post keeps moving and then sometimes it seems like we’re not compliant since its always changing," Arias expressed. "Give us the rules the regulations we’ll do it. We’ll follow it."
But not everyone is on board with following the new rules.
"With the new law that they're putting in, not only would these sheds stay here another year until next November, but the shed doesn't actually go away," Leif Arntzen said. "They're just going to take off the roof. You've still got the shed you’ve still for the rats."
The rules will undergo a 30-day public comment period before the DOT adopts the program by the end of the year.
Restaurants must then fill out an online application for city approval.