On September 25, as part of New York City’s Recovery Agenda, Mayor de Blasio announced that the City’s popular Open Restaurants program, which was launched in June and has since enrolled more than 10,300 establishments, will be extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. While a depressingly large number of restaurants have been shuttered permanently by the pandemic’s financial shockwave, the Open Restaurants program is estimated to have saved an estimated 90,000 jobs citywide.
According to Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin, "The Open Restaurants program has changed New York City's streetscape over these last several months, and now this Administration will work to make that permanent. The program has helped save tens of thousands of jobs and has been an essential lifeline to an industry that has faced enormous hardships during this pandemic. And as we extend outdoor dining into the winter months, we will work closely with restaurants to ensure the correct heating systems are put in place to keep customers and themselves safe.”
“Because this popular program has developed into one of the few bright spots in the pandemic, we are excited that Open Restaurants, a creative new vision of public space, will be made permanent and year-round,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “As we move into the colder months, we will join our sister agencies and the City Council to come up with clear guidance – working closely with the restaurant industry, continuing to make sure that we are of course driven by safety first.”
Warm & Dry
According to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson “Outdoor dining has been one of the major successes of the past few months, and the Council is proud to have led the charge to make this common-sense measure permanent. Lots of cities throughout the world have permanent outdoor dining, and it is time to bring it to New York City. Our restaurants need a lot of help and the Council will continue doing all we can to support them.”
"I'm glad that the Mayor has agreed to extend outdoor dining," adds Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Now, we need to address permitting processes and other details, but it's in everyone's interest to make this work. It offers desperately-needed help to the city's struggling restaurants.”