NYC expands outdoor dining to streets to give restaurants economic boost

NYC expands outdoor dining to streets to give restaurants economic boost

New York City has combined its Open Streets and Open Restaurant programs to give New Yorkers more opportunities to get outdoors safely while supporting local businesses.
The program expands seating options for restaurants into streets that are free of car traffic on the weekends.
In Riverdale, Johnson Avenue was closed to cars between 235th and 236th streets to give customers and restaurants an outdoor plaza feel and environment. Children were able to play in the street as others enjoyed their meals.
Seats and tables were spaced out to give customers enough room to social distance, while tents and umbrellas provided some relief from the heat to others.
"We're actually on a commercial corridor with several restaurants and we've got it all blocked off to traffic and we've got it all set up like cafe plaza type thing," said KRVC Executive Director Tracy Shelton.
Restaurant customers said they were pleased that outdoor dining has now been extended to the street.
"I love it. I mean, I feel like I'm on vacation. I feel like I'm in some beach town. You've got the guy playing guitar. I'm really enjoying it," said Tammy Kaminer, while dining outside.
The expansion comes after the city announced that outside on-street dining will be extended throughout October instead of ending on Labor Day, which gives more than 9,500 participating restaurants two extra months to serve customers outside.
However, restaurant owners say they hope that indoor dining will be allowed by then because they do not know what they will do when the colder weather arrives.