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NYC City Council to Start Tackling Permanent Outdoor Dining Legislation This Week

Plus, soup-and-sandwich chain Hale and Hearty hit with lawsuit over nearly $400K in unpaid rent — and more intel

People eat dinner in an outdoor sidewalk shed at a restaurant on Bedford Street in Greenwich Village in December.
Outdoor dining in Greenwich Village.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

NYC’s City Council is set to start reviewing proposed permanent outdoor dining legislation this week, the New York Post reports. In its current format, the legislation seeks to implement an outdoor dining licensing process with a fee — $1,050 per each license, plus a $525 renewal fee after a certain time period — as well as additional safety measures and restrictions. The bill is sponsored by Bronx councilmember Marjorie Velázquez, who backed the legislation at the request of Mayor Eric Adams, according to the Post. A remote public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, followed by a final vote on the measure at an unspecified later date.

Over 12,000 restaurants are currently certified to use the city’s outdoor dining program, which was first instituted in 2020, as a no-fee, emergency measure of support for restaurants during the pandemic. While the program has been a hit with many diners, and provided an economic boost for restaurants — the city claims that about 100,000 jobs were saved through outdoor dining allowances — the prospect of a permanent setup has been hotly contested by some residents and neighborhood community board members who complain of noise and sanitation issues with the streetside structures. Nearly 100 people turned out for a ‘Chuck the Sheds’ rally in downtown Manhattan over the weekend; and a collapsed outdoor dining structure in Chelsea has sparked more debate over the program, amNewYork reports.

Feltman’s may be bringing its hot dogs back to Manhattan

Coney Island hot dog purveyor Feltman’s appears to be drumming up interest in a return to Manhattan, where owner Michael Quinn first revived the storied brand about five years ago. According to the Coney Island Blog, Quinn is “meeting with New York City hospitality companies in the coming weeks” to secure a deal to open a Feltman’s Restaurant in Manhattan.

Even sandwiches can’t escape supply chain issues

Like everything else, sandwiches are getting more expensive in light of supply chain issues and the steadily increasing cost of goods nationwide. The New York Times checks in on nine sandwich shops across the U.S. — including Lower East Side institution Katz’s and Brooklyn Trinidadian shop De Hot Pot — to see how owners are faring. At Katz’s, a pastrami sandwich now costs $25, while doubles at De Hot Pot now go for $2 apiece instead of $1.50.

Hale and Hearty sued over nearly $400K in unpaid rent

Soup-and-sandwich chain Hale and Hearty got hit with a lawsuit last week alleging that the company owes nearly $400,000 in back rent on one of its Financial District shops, according to Commercial Observer. The suit, filed by the building’s landlord, alleges that the restaurant, which is currently open at 111 Fulton Street, near William Street, failed to pay rent over the past two years. The company is now refusing to surrender the property back to the landlord, the suit alleges.