NYC restaurants struggling with winter outdoor dining restrictions

In the latest outdoor dining switch-up, restaurants will have to rearrange their curbside setups if they want to keep serving customers.

Robert Briskin, who owns American Brass in Long Island City, was notified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) last week.

“We were literally in the middle of service, someone knocked on the door, came in and handed us this double-sided page from the DOT and said get ready, winter’s coming. Here’s what you gotta do,” he told FOX 5 NY.

By December 15th, all roadway barriers must be completely filled with soil or sand and have a fully-built interior wall.

Business owners will also have to add snow sticks and more reflective tape.

“It’s gonna be a challenge but it’s something that we can definitely do and it’s something that we have to do,” Diego Jimanz, who manages Blend on the Water, says.

On top of that, eateries will have to remove most of their roadway setups during an active snow alert, which Briskin calls “counterintuitive.”

“They want you on the one hand to make something as sturdy and heavy as possible and on the other hand be able to break it down in a moment’s notice, he adds.

Restaurants will be required to do most of the work themselves, but the DOT will provide them with the materials for free.

“I really wish the city would come out and do those things for us,” Latae Dorsey, a bartender at Sweet Chick on Vernon Boulevard, mentions.

A spokeswoman for the DOT tells Fox 5 workers will be coming around after the December 15th deadline to inspect outdoor dining adjustments and check for compliance.

She says the agency will not issue summonses, but will, instead, work with restaurants to correct any issues.

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