In a huge setback for the Department of Transportation's plans to add pop-up cafes—so-called "gutter cafes" because they sit just beyond the curb—to the streets of New York, Soho and the Village's Community Board 2 voted to deny all but one application in its district. The DOT ran a successful pilot program with these cafes, which they awarded to a handful of restaurants and coffee shops around town, and have met little resistance in other neighborhoods including the Financial District and parts of Brooklyn. But Soho and the Central Village is a different world altogether. Seasonal restaurant seating will not fly here.
According to the Post 20 community members spoke out against the cafes last night (as expected) and "Supporters of the pop-ups were drowned out by boos and hisses." Sean Sweeney of the activist neighborhood group Soho Alliance writes that both Marisa Tomei's dad and former Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton spoke out against the cafes, with Sheraton even calling for a boycott of the business that participate.