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The Cantankerous Fight to Stop Outdoor Dining Rages On

Plus, Little Italy’s oldest cheese shop is in hot water — 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
Another week, another outdoor dining lawsuit.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The cantankerous fight to rid New York City’s streets of outdoor dining sheds rages on. A group of outdoor dining opponents called Cue-Up — ahem, Coalition United for Equitable Urban Policy — has accused Mayor Eric Adams of executive overreach in a lawsuit filed in the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, according to the New York Times. Few issues have raised as much ire among New Yorkers as the outdoor dining sheds that now line city streets.

The outdoor structures first appeared in 2020, after former mayor Bill de Blasio allowed for their creation through a temporary emergency executive order that was repeatedly extended. Adams has taken the same approach in his first eight months in office, referring to himself “a big supporter of outdoor dining.” But lawyers with Cue-Up say the public health emergency has ended now that the city has dropped other pandemic-era orders around mask wearing and vaccine requirements.

Little Italy’s oldest cheese shop is in hot water

The fate of Little Italy’s oldest cheese shop hangs in the balance. The owner of Alleva Dairy, which has been operating on Grand Street for over a century, appeared in court on August 3 with hopes of settling the issue of its hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid rent. “After months of negotiating, I am disappointed that we weren’t able to reach an agreement on my back rent,” owner Karen King said in a statement after the appearance. In April, the century-old dairy shop said that it was at risk of closing due to $500,000 in unpaid rent that amassed during the pandemic. The shop is accepting donations over GoFundMe.

The owner of Le Périgord has died

Georges Briguet, the owner of Midtown East French restaurant Le Périgord, died on July 26 in Montauk at the age of 85, the New York Times reports. The restaurateur was known for greeting customers by name at the door of his haute cuisine restaurant for over half a century. Le Périgord closed in 2017, following lawsuits that resulted in him shelling out thousands of dollars to the government (over unpaid federal taxes) and a former employee (over unpaid wages), according to the Times. The space remains vacant today.

A well-liked Chinese restaurant looks to expand

Shun Lee, a Chinese restaurant with an uptown following, is opening its first outpost on the Upper East Side, East Side Feed reports. The forthcoming business — at 442 Third Avenue, between East 81st and 82nd streets — will be called Shun Lee Cafe, and like the restaurant’s outpost of the same name across town, there will be dim sum in six categories: sweet, baked, pan-fried, crispy, steamed, and weekend-only. There’s no opening date on the calendar, but East Side Feed reports the space is outfitted with furniture and decorations.