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New Yorkers Are Packing Community Board Meetings to Oppose Outdoor Dining

Plus, Lower East Side pop-up Evil Katsu finds a new home in the East Village — and more intel

A man walking down a street flanked by outdoor dining setups with umbrellas and plywood barriers constructed and tall buildings in the background
Mulberry Street in Little Italy, photographed in September 2020
Robert Sietsema/Eater

New Yorkers opposing outdoor dining are packing community board meetings

As community boards across the city debate the future of outdoor dining, New Yorkers are packing the neighborhood meetings to oppose making the program permanent. Earlier this week residents showed up at meeting held by Manhattan Community Board 2 — which encompasses parts of Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, and Chinatown — to speak out against the popular program, complaining about noise from outdoor dining and likening the sidewalk setups to “vermin habitat[s],” CBS reports.

New Yorkers have overwhelmingly supported Open Restaurants throughout the pandemic, but in recent months a vocal minority of city residents has spoken out against the program. At the community board level, that opposition appears to be ramping up in some neighborhoods, with residents turning out in droves to cite concerns that range from safety and noise to pedestrian access and parking. Ahead of a meeting held by Manhattan Community Board 3 earlier this month, a group of residents led a campaign using flyers and emails to urge their neighbors to show up in opposition to the program.

Open Restaurants has served as a lifeline for more than 11,000 businesses over the last year, as restaurants and bars extended their seating into sidewalks and parking spaces with outdoor setups. Mayor Bill de Blasio has previously expressed his support for making outdoor dining permanent and has credited the city program with saving 100,000 hospitality industry jobs during the pandemic.

In other news

— After launching as a katsu sandwich pop-up on the Lower East Side, Evil Katsu finds a permanent home in the East Village. The restaurant is now open at 435 East Ninth Street, between Avenue A and First Avenue.

— Golden Diner in Two Bridges is fundraising after a fire tore through the restaurant on Friday, July 16. The neighborhood diner will be temporarily closed as the team cleans and rebuilds the space, according to the fundraiser.

— Dave’s Lesbian Bar is hosting a summer pop-up with live music and temporary tattoos this Saturday, July 24. The event, which kicks off at 2 p.m. at Astoria bar Heart of Gold, seeks to raise money for the queer venue’s upcoming opening.

— Murray Hill favorite DiDi Dumpling appears to be opening a second location at 201 Amsterdam Avenue, at 69th Street, on the Upper West Side.

— Manhattan-based restaurant chain Just Salad has plans to open more than 40 new locations in the next two years, mostly in areas outside of New York City.

— The American Bar in London taps Shannon Tebay, formerly of celebrated East Village cocktail bar Death and Co., as its next head bartender.

— California burritos:

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