NYC restaurants can offer street dining soon
NYC entered Phase One of its coronavirus reopening on June 8, and Phase Two seems likely to begin soon too. While Governor Cuomo previously said the city likely wouldn't reach the milestone until July, and he wouldn't confirm it until Friday (6/19), Mayor Bill de Blasio has indicated that Monday, June 22 is the day.
Phase Two allows for the reopening of some in-store shopping, hair salons and barbershops, offices, real estate firms, playgrounds, and more. It also includes outdoor service at restaurants and bars, with sidewalk, curb lane, patio, and backyard seating. Here are the NYC DOT's guidelines for restaurants applying to offer that:
Sidewalk seating area may not exceed business frontage
Sidewalk seating must be adjacent to the building and maintain an 8 foot clear path free from certain obstructions between the seating and the curb and a 3 foot clear path on either side
Sidewalk seating must not be in a bus stop
Sidewalk seating area must not block doorways, standpipes, or Siamese connections
Tables and chairs must be provided by applicant
Roadway seating must be 8 feet wide and may not exceed length of business frontage
Roadway seating cannot be installed within a bus stop
Roadway seating must be sited at least 15 feet from a hydrant and 8 feet from a crosswalk
Roadway seating cannot be set up where curb regulation is No Standing Anytime or No Stopping Anytime
Roadway seating may be set up in part time No Standing or No Stopping provided all elements are removed when No Standing or No Stopping is in effect
Seating must be separated from the travel lane with a barrier
If located on a street with more than two travel lanes, barrier must be min 18-24 inches wide, such as planters, spaced maximum 4 feet apart
If located on a street with two travel lanes or less, barrier may be vertical element such as stanchions, barricades, Barriers should not be higher than 36 inches tall, excluding plantings
Tables, chairs, and barriers must be provided by applicant
There's also "Open Streets" seating, which would allow restaurants to seat diners in the 40 miles of streets that have been closed to traffic for social distancing purposes. Seating there can begin in July, and the Mayor's Office has more details about the program.
We'll see what this winds up looking like, but until then, expect to see more scenes like the one captured in this viral video of St. Mark's Place on a Friday night from EV Grieve. Governor Cuomo responded, "Don't make me come down there..."