NEW YORK CITY — Your table is waiting outside, and it could be there into next year.
A bill was introduced earlier that would create a permanent outdoor dining program in certain spaces. It would also legalize outdoor propane heaters.
New York City Council members Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn and Keith Powers of Manhattan, along with six others, are currently listed as sponsors.
Councilmember Powers said there will be a hearing next week.
”Since the mayor hasn’t made the announcement yet, we are going to take the lead and do what New Yorkers want: to expand it,” he said.
Mayor de Blasio had previously set an end date of Oct. 31 for outdoor dining, but his administration has said it will go into the fall.
Restaurant owners hope outdoor dining will continue as they finalize plans indoor dining. Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed it to begin in the city on Wednesday, Sept. 30 with 25% capacity.
After reviewing health data, capacity could go to 50% by November.
At Boucherie on Park Avenue north of Union Square, they’re busy outside and getting ready inside. General Manager Zorica Vukovic is excited for the possibilities.
“It has been a challenge. We have invested in all these dividers, flowers, planters, and cleaning supplies. It was all for good,” she said.
Chef Daniel Boulud has some surprises planned for the menu and decor inside his restaurant, Daniel on East 65th Street.
“I want to create a transition and excitement for indoor dining. Twenty-five percent will keep us safe, and we are taking all the measures,” he said.
Many restaurants have already placed orders for heaters and canopies.