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NYC Faced With Growing Number of Abandoned Outdoor Dining Structures

Plus, the Waverly Inn is offering free food for Ukrainian citizens — and more intel

A plywood structure on the street with orange traffic cones placed around it.
An empty outdoor dining structure in Manhattan.
James Andrews1/Shutterstock

New York City is slated to lift its vaccine mandate for indoor dining next week and has been plotting ways to help restaurants continue their recovery going into the third year of the pandemic, but there’s another hurdle: The Department of Transportation is dealing with a growing number of abandoned outdoor dining sheds.

“We have a very very long list right now of abandoned structures,” Julie Schipper, the DOT’s director of the Open Restaurants program, told the Tribeca Citizen. Removing a shed can require a dozen workers, several trucks, and Department of Health employees to deal with any hazardous materials like needles.

The future of New York City’s wildly popular outdoor dining program, a lifeline for many restaurants, is still being hammered out as the City Council figures out all the rules and regulations, from licensing requirements for dining sheds to safety measures. There are plans to eliminate all outdoor sheds as the Open Restaurants program is being reworked, Schipper told the Post last month.

Hot Bread Kitchen makes room for Black Seed Bagels co-founder

Dianna Daohueng, a co-founder of Black Seed Bagels, has seen her business grow throughout the years (a ninth location is coming to the Ace Hotel Brooklyn in the spring). Now the James Beard-nominated chef is bringing her experience to Hot Bread Kitchen as the non-profit’s latest Entrepreneur in Residence, where her responsibilities include running a four-week course on running a business.

Ex-Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter is buying dinner

In a show of support for Ukraine, chicken Kyiv has been temporarily added to the Waverly Inn’s menu of American standards like iceberg wedge salads and cheeseburgers. However, as the New York Post reports, owner Graydon Carter is taking it one step further: the dish is on the house for any diner who has a Ukrainian passport. Elsewhere in the city, New Yorkers have been flocking to Ukrainian establishments like Veselka and Streecha Ukrainian Kitchen to show their support as Russia continues its invasion of the Eastern European country.

NYC’s nearly 30-year-old Italian grocer to debut new location

The family-owned Italian specialty market Agata & Valentina is planning to open its newest store later this month at 1513 First Avenue, at the corner of East 79th Street, according to reps for the grocer. Unlike its flagship, which opened on the Upper East Side in 1993, this store will focus on gluten-free, vegan, and dairy-free products.

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