NYC outdoor dining structures face issues

Local News

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn — The outdoor dining space to a Greenpoint Polish restaurant was put back up by the restaurant owners’ friends after a collapse during Tuesday’s storm.

The accident crushed two cars stopped at the corner of Norman and Manhattan Avenues. The collapse shut down traffic for two blocks. The FDNY said the people in the two cars were not seriously hurt.

Outdoor dining has become a financial lifeline for restaurants suffering during the pandemic but while restaurants continue to utilize the space, neighboring shops are questioning the city standards for keeping patrons safe.

The restaurant owner was told by friends not to touch the structure until it was inspected by the Department of Buildings, but they never showed.

The Department of Buildings said the Department of Transportation is the primary enforcement agency for outdoor dining structures, as they are located in the public right of way.

The DOT released this statement to PIX11 News after referring us to their website. 

“We are aware of this incident and are on site to address the issue,” a spokesperson said. “The goal of the enforcement component of DOT’s highly successful Open Restaurants program is to help businesses bring their outdoor dining setups into compliance whenever possible, and that’s why our inspectors also distribute brochures with information to help restaurants understand the rules. In addition, the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife conducts trainings, and business owners with questions about the Open Restaurants program are encouraged to call the SBS hotline.”

They added that some inspections lead to 24-hour notices to restaurants to correct conditions, while others result in cease-and-desist notices for violations, such as setting up in a bus stop.

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