NEW YORK (PIX11) — This year was supposed to have begun with a permanent plan for outdoor and curbside dining in New York City, but no plan has been announced three days into the new year.
Officials continue to work on a proposal that would address the design and location of structures. The regulations created during the COVID-19 pandemic remain as the City Council and Mayor Eric Adams’ administration continue discussions with stakeholders.
Restaurant owners and neighbors want to know what the spring will bring for outdoor dining structures on the roads and sidewalks.
A City Council spokesperson responded to a request from PIX11 News on Tuesday and said the permanent program would strike the right balance between supporting small businesses and addressing neighborhood needs.
Antonia Joannides is the owner Queens Room on Ditmars Boulevard and 36th Street in Astoria. Her outdoor structure and others may need some attention after the winter.
“We are going to wait and see,” Joannides said.
The Department of Transportation and the Department of Sanitation continue to review and enforce the current regulations.
Due to their abandonment or unaddressed issues, 170 structures have been taken down. Locations can be reported to 311.
“Open Restaurants saved 100,000 jobs during the pandemic and helped New Yorkers reimagine their streets as more vibrant public spaces,” said DSNY spokesperson Vincent Barone. “We are committed to crafting a permanent program that all New Yorkers will be proud of and we’re working closely with the Council on our shared vision.”
Andrew Rigie is the executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.
“There is a lot of anxiety. The owners want to invest accordingly,” Rigie said.
Last year, public hearings and comments led to a draft proposal that was opposed by some neighbors who want stricter rules about outdoor dining locations in some neighborhoods.
In the future, the structures may have to be more moveable and seasonal.