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City Lifts Temporary Ban on Streetside Outdoor Dining as Snow Subsides

Dining outdoors can resume citywide tonight

People cross the street in Times Square on December 17, 2020 in New York, the morning after a powerful winter storm hit the US northeastern states. Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Update, 1:39 p.m.: Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that streetside outdoor dining citywide can resume tonight at 6 p.m.

Streetside outdoor dining in Manhattan is back up and running following a temporary ban due to heavy snowfall in the city this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced. The four other boroughs are still banned from operating outdoor dining structures that take up street space. The mayor’s office will be making another announcement at 1 p.m. regarding whether or not the ban will be lifted elsewhere today, depending on snow removal progress.

The temporary ban was put into effect on Wednesday at 2 p.m. as a precautionary measure in light of a gigantic winter storm bearing down on the city this week. The worst of the snowstorm has passed through the city as of Thursday, leaving behind 10 inches of snowfall in some areas like Central Park, the New York Times reports,

There were no reports of widespread damage to outdoor dining structure due to snowstorm, deputy mayor of operations Laura Anglin and Department of Sanitation acting commissioner Edward Grayson said during a Thursday press conference.

“We certainly will work with sanitation, DOT, and SBS to help any restaurants that need assistance there, but we do not think that there was a lot of widespread damage,” Anglin said.

New Yorkers can track the progress of NYC plow trucks online to see how the streets are being cleared. The city’s sanitation department will continue plowing and salting the roads all day and into tonight, Grayson said.

For those planning to dine outdoors in Manhattan tonight, Grayson cautioned that the streets will likely be slippery and wet. “It might not be a night to wear your good shoes,” he said.