Outdoor dining now permanent in NYC, rules unveiled

All smiles in the Bronx Wednesday as outdoor dining is officially here to stay.

Kevin Alicea is the co-owner of Havana Cafe and supports the new bill. 

Rules under the new bill:

  • Restaurants can only serve outdoors between 10 am and Midnight
  • Permit fees will be based on location and square footage
  • In Manhattan, fees will be higher for restaurants below 125th Street

The bill addresses 2 major remnants of the pandemic. Sidewalk eating is NOW year-round and the outdoor dining "shed-like" structures must come down.

Bronx resident Carmine Bonanno is relieved about that.  

"Besides taking over roadway parking, it also became a hazard for cars, people, and pedestrians," Bonanno said.


NYC outdoor dining: New rules unveiled for pandemic-era dining sheds

Earlier this month, the New York City Council passed legislation that would create a system allowing businesses to set up dining sheds on city streets for April through November and to remove them in the winter months.

Officials say the shed-like structures must be replaced under a new concept called "Roadway Dining," the design of which is still being finalized. 

Roadway Dining will only be allowed between April and November to allow for street cleaning in the winter months, snow removal in particular. 

"The roadway set up, where they can be in order that we have access for emergency vehicles, the seasonality aspect of it because this will be picked up and put down so that there is infrastructure access during the off-season," Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor for Operations said.

Andrew Rigie, Exec. Dir. of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, added, "There's gonna be really good safety standards, thick barriers, perhaps platforms. That's all yet to become, but people are gonna feel comfortable. They're gonna be safe."

The NYC DOT will have the final say on what the design to replace the sheds will look like. All restaurants have to be in compliance with the new rules by November of next year.