Mayor-elect Eric Adams and city councilmember Keith Powers are rallying for another year of propane heated outdoor dining. In a joint letter on Thursday, the leading New York City politicians called for the return of the measure that allowed restaurants and bars to heat their outdoor setups using propane last winter, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio previously saying it would not be returning this year.
“Many diners still prefer the safety of outdoor dining to dining indoors, and restaurants are still struggling financially to recover,” Adams and Powers argue in the letter. “We ask you to reconsider your decision to reinstate the ban on propane heaters for another year.”
Propane heaters were previously prohibited at restaurants and bars, but last fall the city’s fire department took the unprecedented step of allowing businesses to use them outdoors as an emergency measure when indoor dining was limited or temporarily banned. There were no fires as a result of the heaters, Adams and Powers point out, and “the majority of restaurants operated the heaters safely and in compliance with the regulations.”
New York clubs are clawing back from months of unpaid rent
Local clubs are packed with customers and apparently racked with debt. Even on the heels of New York’s brief hot restaurant summer, nightlife venues across the city are struggling to stay afloat, the New York Times reports. The Good Room, a beloved venue in Greenpoint, is clawing back from $500,000 in unpaid rent and reopening costs, while Trans-Pecos, a music space in Ridgewood, still owes about 14 months in back rent. Part of the problem, nightlife operators tell the Times, is that few government grants have been available for bars, clubs, and music halls during the pandemic.
Starbucks opens a cashierless coffee shop in Manhattan
As employee unionization efforts progress upstate, Starbucks has announced that it’s getting into the cashierless coffee shop game. The international coffee company opened its first pick-up cafe — where baristas are still preparing beverages but customers place their orders using the Starbucks app — in partnership with Amazon. The cafe, located on 59th Street, between Park and Lexington avenues, will be followed by a second location in Midtown’s New York Times building in the next year, according to CNBC.
The Coney Island Boardwalk is getting a makeover
For the first time in nearly a century, the Coney Island Boardwalk is getting a makeover. New York City has allocated $114.5 million to bring new decking and railings to the 2.5-mile boardwalk as part of a first-of-its-kind redesign. Construction will be completed in phases, and much of the boardwalk will remain open to the public to reduce the “risk to the larger Coney Island community, including the businesses that line the famed boardwalk’s corridor,” the Parks Department tells Time Out.