Restaurants await decision on future of outdoor dining in NYC

Many businesses tell News 12 outdoor eating facades have been a vital lifeline to stay afloat following the pandemic, which had reduced their ability to get people "inside" their eateries. A lot of them chimed in during the hearing over a bill on whether outdoor dining would stay.

News 12 Staff

Feb 8, 2022, 10:25 PM

Updated 840 days ago

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Eateries across New York City could be one step closer to having outdoor dining becoming a permanent fixture for their restaurants.
The plan to allow outdoor dining to continue was discussed during a City Hall hearing Tuesday.
Many businesses tell News 12 outdoor eating facades have been a vital lifeline to stay afloat following the pandemic, which had reduced their ability to get people "inside" their eateries. A lot of them chimed in during the hearing over a bill on whether outdoor dining would stay.
The bill is called "Sidewalk Cafes and Roadway Cafes," and it's looking to replace a temporary emergency order that was set to expire soon.
Council members and other city officials discussed the plan, talking about not only the benefits but also the downsides. The benefits of the bill include helping restaurants to stay open and keep their staff, while some of those downsides include more noise, an increase in trash and complicating sidewalk access for those who are disabled.
"We'd all lived through various things like the World Trade Center coming, to the flood, to Sandy, yada-yada-yada, but we've never lived through a pandemic so everyday we're thinking and hopful that today would be the last day or we were a day closer," said restaurant owner Jeremy Wladis.
The hearing went on throughout the day, and over 300 people signed up to speak during the public portion.
A representative from Council Member Marjorie Velazquez's office said to News 12 there's been a lot of support for this plan from constituents. A recent survey from the New York Hospitality Association showed 9 out 10 restaurants find outdoor dining crucial to their business.


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