EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — Outdoor dining has reached new heights in New York City and some say it isn’t kosher.
East Village residents demanded more supervision from the city of outdoor dining sheds after one restaurant started to build a second story on their East 4th Street structure. Photos posted to Twitter on Thursday showed the started construction on the extra floor.
The Department of Transportation, which regulates the Open Restaurants program, said two-story structures are not allowed.
“While we celebrate Open Restaurants, dangerous structures on our streets are unacceptable,” a spokesperson said. “DOT will require any unsafe structures to be removed immediately.”
Jarrett Jong, who works in the food industry, said wondered how he would even get food up to a second floor of an outdoor dining structure.
“It kind of sounded unsafe to me was my first reaction,” he said. “Theoretically it’s cool but at this point it’s like they’re building another restaurant.”
The extra floor, reported on by The New York Post, was brought to the attention of Councilmember Margaret Chin.
“This is insane,” she tweeted.
Not everyone had a problem with it though. East Village resident Evan Chetnick pointed to how much the pandemic had hurt the restaurant industry.
“Some of these restaurants really struggled during the pandemic so I guess it’s a good thing that more of these structures are around so they can fit more people into their restaurants,” he said.
But the City said a second floor was considered too dangerous and that it was a violation of outdoor dining regulations. So construction was halted.