City Finally Unveils Official Plans for Permanent Outdoor Dining

It’s a beautiful day here in New York, the perfect day, even, for outdoor dining. No, not really, but it is a day for outdoor dining, sort of. Earlier today, Mayor Eric Adams’s administration published its rules for outdoor dining, meaning that this yearslong process is, at long last, almost over. The rules go into effect on March 3, and as the New York Daily News notes, operators have until August 3 to apply for a permit.

Last August, the City Council passed its outdoor-dining bill, 18 months after it was first introduced. The rules will be familiar to those who have been keeping tabs on these developments: Propane tanks are not allowed, setups can’t be more than one story high (but we respect those who tried), and outdoor dining must shut down at midnight. The full set of rules and regulations can be found here.

The biggest change is that roadside streeteries will only be allowed from April 1 through November 29, meaning restaurateurs will have to take down and rebuild structures. This was one of several rules and changes blasted by critics, leading the local news website Hell Gate to declare that outdoor dining will “mostly end in 2024.” Some have lamented the end of cold-weather outdoor dining, bemoaning that the space will be given back over to cars. Of course, the biggest loss for restauranteurs is the crucial storage space that unoccupied dining sheds provide during the winter.

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