Outdoor Dining Is Now Year Round!

Open Restaurants/ Open Streets made permanent! 

As part of New York City’s Recovery Agenda, Mayor de Blasio announced the City’s popular Open Restaurants program, which has enrolled more than 10,300 establishments since its inception in June, will be extended year-round and made permanent. The extension also applies to Open Streets: Restaurants, which currently offers restaurants expanded space on 85 car-free streets citywide on certain days. Additional expansions of the program and winter guidance were also announced: 

Adjacent Properties – Restaurants will be allowed to expand seating to the frontage of adjacent properties, as long as the adjacent property owners formally agree to the use of the space for a specific period of time and commit not to charge a fee for its use. DOT will release a template agreement and instructions in early October; adjacent properties may not be used prior to this release. 

Heating – Electrical heaters will be allowed on both sidewalk and roadway. Propane and natural gas heaters will be allowed on sidewalks only; they will remain prohibited in roadway seating. Propane will require a permit from FDNY and compliance with FDNY regulations for outdoor use, handling, and secure outdoor tank storage overnight. Official guidance will be released before the end of September. Restaurants are prohibited from installing heating elements until these guidelines are released. 

Tents – Restaurants will be permitted to use tent enclosures to keep diners warm. In partial tent enclosures, at least 50% of the tent’s side wall surface area must remain open and electrical heaters are allowed. In full tent enclosures, the tent’s side walls may be closed but occupancy limitations will be capped at 25% of capacity, and indoor guidelines must be followed; electrical heaters will also be allowed

Read all about it HERE.  

Updates and Guidelines on Indoor Dining :

Indoor Dining Starts Wednesday, 9/30! 

Restaurants will be allowed to reopen for indoor dining beginning on September 30th. They will be subject to rigorous inspection protocols and strict occupancy limits. Some requirements for restaurants include: 

  • Serve customers at a maximum of 25% capacity
  • Conduct temperature checks at every front door
  • Collect Test & Trace data from at least one customer at each table
  • Close bar tops for seating
  • Offer COVID-19 protections like PPE for employees
  • Space tables six feet apart 

Here are the State guidelines and resources restaurants need to review: 

Indoor Dining Summary Guidelines 
Indoor Dining Detailed Guidelines – restaurants must read and affirm 
Safety Plan Template

Missed the SBS webinar about indoor dining guidance earlier this week? Watch the recording HERE.