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De Blasio Orders Restaurants to Tear Down Unused Outdoor Dining Structures ASAP

Plus, Starbucks employees say the company is hindering its unionization efforts — and more intel

Two workers can be seen installing barriers on the street outside a restaurant
The city has seen at least 10,000 outdoor dining setups rise since the pandemic
Gary He/Eater

New York City restaurants have a matter of days to take down their unused outdoor dining structures, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced during a press conference on Monday, AM New York reports. The Department of Transportation has already begun checking in on the city’s nearly 10,000 sheds, huts, and any other forms of al fresco dining that sprung up during the pandemic as part of the Open Restaurants program.

As of Monday, the city has removed 24 “abandoned, non-compliant, or destroyed” outdoor dining setups that take up parking spaces, a DOT spokesperson tells AM New York.

Starbucks employees seeking to unionize say company is undermining its efforts

Ever since three Starbucks shops in Buffalo, New York, rallied to organize the chain’s first union in the country, two so-called support managers from out of state have been working with the baristas, the New York Times reports. Employees say it’s been viewed as an intimidation tactic to break down their efforts to unionize.

The East Village is making a fast-and-furious comeback

Despite the East Village’s bustling nightlife — remember when former Gov. Andrew Cuomo suspended liquor licenses of establishments that didn’t abide by social distancing recommendations? — some reports indicate the area was among the most hard hit neighborhoods during the pandemic with 30 to 40 percent of restaurants and bars shuttering at the height of the pandemic, according to the New York Post. The same report says nightlife is roaring back with recent openings such as the celebrated Temple Bar and a rock-and-roll bar set to open in the former Coyote Ugly spot. EV Grieve also reports that an omakase spot is coming to East Seventh Street, and that Mexican restaurant Chichen Itzá just opened a few blocks north.

Despite shutterings at glitzy Hudson Yards, a trendy new Greek restaurant has risen in the neighborhood

Kyma, the Greek juggernaut that started in Roslyn, Long Island, in 2013, and took off in Flatiron, is unveiling a 200-seat location across from Hudson Yards at 445 West 35th Street. The restaurant, which opened last night and is overseen by Top Chef finalist George Pagonis, features some of the restaurant’s favorites including warm sesame feta, shrimp Santorini, pastitsio spring rolls, and whole fish. The new space will feature private rooms and a large circular bar, and will start with dinner only. — Beth Landman, contributor