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Outdoor Dining Marches on in NYC Even as Winter Storm Looms

“I encourage everyone to have a winter adventure tonight,” de Blasio said

Caffe Reggio’s outdoor dining area is covered in snow on December 17, 2020 in New York City.  Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in a press conference Tuesday that outdoor dining will continue as normal tonight, despite the incoming winter storm in the city’s forecast.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory in effect today that predicts up to an inch of snow accumulation during the day, in addition to sleet, likely making for slick road conditions, the mayor said. The snow is predicted to continue to fall through the night, with an extra two inches expected to pile up.

Still, de Blasio confirmed that outdoor dining is still on tonight.

When asked by Wall Street Journal reporter Katie Honan whether or not he would dine outdoors tonight given the weather conditions, de Blasio said that he has “done outdoor dining in this kind of temperature and not a problem at all for me” but he’d have to check his schedule for tonight. “If I can’t stay, maybe I can grab some takeout,” he said.

He went on to encourage New Yorkers to get outside and dine tonight despite the predicted snow and sleet in the forecast.

“This is perfectly good weather and there are a lot of outdoor dining setups that have kept people real warm and safe, they’ve done great,” de Blasio said. “I encourage everyone to have a winter adventure tonight.”

The city previously shut down outdoor dining for about 24 hours due to a heavy winter storm in December, when as much as 10 inches of snow accumulated in some areas. When winter storms force restaurants to shutdown outdoor dining, businesses are required by the city to dismantle and secure the outdoor setups as best as possible to avoid snow accumulation on the top of streetside setups, and make way for snow plows on the roads.

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