June 26, 2020
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today combined two popular programs, Open Streets and Open Restaurants, by announcing expanded seating options for restaurants on select restaurant corridors throughout the five boroughs. By July 4th, 10-20 corridors citywide will be open to pedestrians and approved for expanded street dining. Another 10-20 corridors will be approved starting Friday, July 17th. Restaurants on these corridors will go farther away from the curb than other Open Restaurants participants, and the rest of the streets will be open to pedestrian traffic.
BIDs and community-based organizations can apply starting on DOT’s website starting Monday, June 29th. The City will quickly review applications and consult with elected officials and Community Boards to ensure optimal safety and appropriate design.
“New Yorkers have earned as much open space as we can give them – and combining our popular Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs will give them more options than ever,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Restaurants will be invaluable partners as we fight back COVID-19 and rebuild our local economy, and we can’t wait to work with them throughout the reopening process.”
“Today’s announcement brings an exciting new opportunity for restaurants to expand their use of streets across the City — and reach even more customers,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With more than 5,000 Open Restaurants now signed up, some BIDs and neighborhood organizations have made a compelling case about the need to grow outdoor dining to even more of the street. But make no mistake, devoting entire streets to open-air dining is a big change — and we will make sure that these streets remain safe and passable for emergency vehicles.”
“New York City is defined by our creativity and innovation,” said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “Expanding Open Streets to support our local restaurants and bars is a creative way to use our public spaces to help stabilize beloved businesses, and keep our city strong.”
“This is a great new model that really addresses all the needs to get New York back on its feet safely and still make room for a magical summer,” said Ariel Palitz, Senior Executive Director of the Office of Nightlife at the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “We’re hearing it across the city, restaurants and residents are excited about the possibilities that come with expanding Open Streets and Open Restaurants.”
The first tranche of corridors, which will be open for street dining starting July 4th weekend, will focus on streets that are already participating in the Open Streets program and/or corridors with organizations that have worked with DOT on street closures in the past. The second tranche, which will be operational starting Friday, July 17th, will include additional applicants such as ad hoc groups of restaurants that coordinate through a single entity acting as a partner organization.
The hours of operation for this new expanded seating option for restaurants will be from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday nights, and noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Expanded seating will last until Labor Day.