NY Supreme Court ruling could make outdoor dining permanent in NYC
A new ruling by the state Supreme Court is making way for the city’s Open Restaurants program to be around for the future, allowing outdoor dining structures to stay up after the program expires.
The program has been around since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as an effort for restaurants to survive.
“If we didn’t have outdoor dining, we’d be out of business,” said Charlotta Janssen, owner of Che Oskar in Bedford-Stuyvesant. “It’s been our survival… it’s everything that helped us, and we were able to get our employees back.”
In a two-page decision, a judge found that the plaintiffs, a group of New Yorkers from across the city, brought the lawsuit too early, since the city has yet to make the program permanent.
“Noise, pedestrian access, the commercial landscape of the streets... There’s a list of all of these things that under law they have to look at, and they didn’t look at those things,” said Leslie Clark of Cue Up-NYC, a coalition that opposes the Open Restaurants program.
There is currently a bill in City Council that could make the program permanent.
The New York City Department of Transportation’s website says that a permanent Open Restaurants program could start as soon as next year.