Fifteen additional streets in the city will now be shut off to vehicular traffic on weekends to allow more room for outdoor dining, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday. Most of the closed streets announced today are located in Manhattan, and with the addition of these streets, there are now 62 streets in the city that are closed on weekends for outdoor dining.
The initiative is a combination of the city’s Open Streets and Open Restaurants program, which allow for more social distancing for New Yorkers, and for restaurants to offer seating on sidewalks, curbsides, and some parking spots. This effort takes it one step further by letting restaurants and bars expand seating onto closed streets on weekends.
The 15 new streets announced today will offer outdoor dining starting at 5 p.m. today. The weekend schedule for outdoor dining runs from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays, and from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The mayor also announced Friday that city had earmarked Fowler Square in Fort Greene, Old Fulton Plaza in Dumbo, Myrtle-Cooper plaza in Glendale, and in Douglaston, Queens at 41st Avenue and 235th Street, near the LIRR station.
Since the start of the city’s outdoor dining program, more than 9,000 restaurants have applied and been certified to offer outdoor seating. While most of the restaurants and bars have been in compliance with safety guidelines, the state has recently cracked down on establishments that offer outdoor seating but have not enforced social distancing. Restaurant and bar owners in turn have complained about shifting rules they have to keep up with in regards to outdoor dining, and have expressed concerns about managing raucous crowds.
Below is a full list of the newly selected streets for outdoor dining: