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Outdoor winter dining in NYC remains a question mark

Next Wednesday, city restaurants will finally be permitted to reopen for indoor dining, but only at 25 percent capacity. Guidelines for indoor dining will be reassessed by Nov. 1.

  • Outdoor winter dining: The city’s outdoor dining program is set to expire on Oct. 31. One key sticking point is city rules surrounding the use of outdoor heaters. NYC currently bans propane heaters and maintains strict rules surrounding the use of heaters powered with natural gas, NYPost noted.
  • Dig Deeper: Currently, only permanently permitted sidewalk cafes are allowed to install natural gas heaters, which have to be connected to the building’s lines — and that can only be done with Buildings Department approval. Mayor Bill de Blasio promised a decision on cold-weather dining “very soon.” 
  • Worth Noting: A new bill introduced in the City Council Tuesday would repeal the current temporary program and make outdoor dining a lasting staple. It would also legalize outdoor propane heaters. [NYPost+TRD]

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