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Restaurants rely on outdoor seating

Outdoor seating is proving to be a critical but tenuous lifeline for New York City restaurants since Gov. Andrew Cuomo indefinitely postponed the reopening of indoor dining, according to the Wall Street Journal. More than 7,900 restaurants across the five boroughs have been approved for the city’s Open Restaurants program, which began June 22 and temporarily allows more expansive sidewalk and roadway seating than was permitted before the pandemic.

  • Dig Deeper: Under the city’s regulations, roadway cafes must be at least 15 feet from fire hydrants and 8 feet from crosswalks. Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart and protected from traffic by barriers that are at least 18 inches wide with reflective tape on the outside corners. Sidewalks must have an 8-foot-wide path for pedestrians.
  • Why it matters: The city makes clear to restaurant owners that they can be shut down for violating safety regulations, but gives them 24 hours to come into compliance. [WSJ]

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