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NYC Restaurants Confront Homelessness Crisis Amid Bids to Make Outdoor Dining Permanent

Plus, Long Island City restaurants are catering to the neighborhood’s growing Asian population — and more intel

A white painted outdoor dining structure with clear panels to view tables and chairs inside
Many NYC restaurants, such as Atoboy here, had no outdoor dining setups until the pandemic.

Since the pandemic hit New York City in March 2020, the number of outdoor dining setups has proliferated across the five boroughs. But as restaurant owners back ongoing efforts to make ding al fresco a permanent fixture, the New York Times reports another challenge businesses are facing: Many restaurants are coming face-to-face with the city’s homelessness crisis for the first time.

Restaurant owners have had to figure out ways how to handle conflicts between panhandlers, customers, and their employees. Some have hired security guards while some, like Stephen Werther of Suprema Provisions in the West Village, are offering food to feed the homeless. As with other pandemic-born policies, many of the restaurants cited in the Times report are calling for the city to help the growing number of homeless New Yorkers.

LIC is home to NYC’s influx of Asian residents — and restaurants are following

The boom in the city’s Asian population — the fastest growing racial group in the U.S., which also contributed to NYC’s overall population increase — has spiked fivefold in Long Island City since 2010, the New York Times reports. As a result, the number of restaurants catering to the Asian community is growing, too. The Times cites hand-pulled noodle chain Dun Huang, Paris Baguette, and sushi lounge Mito as soon-to-open businesses.

Yet another delivery worker reportedly died while on the clock

Over the weekend, a man who is believed to be a delivery worker for Grubhub was stabbed to death before his e-bike was stolen, Gothamist reports. Police arrived to the scene on Saturday morning near Hester and Chrystie streets, where they found the 51-year-old victim with multiple cuts. The case illustrates the ongoing safety issues gig employees have been facing in the past year and a half.

Another speakeasy and restaurant wants to touch down in beloved East Village sports bar

For 11 years, Finnerty’s was the go-to place for Bay Area sports fans — until it shuttered during the pandemic. Hospitality group Best Speakeasies NYC is now seeking approval from Community Board 3 to open a restaurant, Chicken & the Egg, and speakeasy, Sincerely, Ophelia, at 221 Second Avenue, between East 13th and 14th streets.