SCHUYLERVILLE, the Bronx (WABC) — Outdoor dining will officially become a permanent fixture in New York City on Wednesday.
Some new rules will be in place when Mayor Eric Adams signs the outdoor dining bill into place.
The main difference is that, starting next year, those roadway sheds will eventually become seasonal. Dining establishments will only be allowed to keep them up from April to November.
“I love the sheds. It’s one of the few silver linings of COVID. I love eating outside,” one New York City resident said.
Sidewalk cafes can stay up year round.
Officials say the permits will be less expensive and easier to obtain, but the Department of Transportation has the final say over what outdoor dining will really look like.
Outdoor dining was celebrated at the start of the pandemic, but has since become incredibly controversial.
“We’re OK with the ruling and we’re happy that New York is moving in a direction to be more European, where we have people sitting outside and it makes us feel a bit more lively than normally,” Mathias Van Leyden, owner of Loulou said. “For residents, it’s less curb space, less sidewalk space, less roadbed space, less space to get up and down the block, less quiet, less emergency access. It’s just less. It’s more for one industry, less for everybody else.”
Some city residents say these outdoor spaces do way more harm than good.
“They litter up the street so badly. They take away from the aesthetic of the street. They’re claustrophobic, they’re trash-magnets. They’re just awful,” one woman said.
The outdoor dining bill signing is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. at the Havana Café in the Bronx, but these changes won’t be immediate.
Restaurants will need to be in compliance by November of 2024.
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