The New York City Council on Thursday voted to make outdoor dining permanent and year-round and lifted the ban on portable propane heaters. The legislation approved by the Council extends the city’s current Open Restaurants program, in which more than 10,500 restaurants have enrolled since June, until September 30, 2021, and requires it to be replaced with a permanent program. Under the program, restaurants will also be able to use portable propane heaters, which were previously banned.
Photo of Bubby’s Tribeca, courtesy of Bubby’s
Though indoor dining is permitted at 25-percent capacity in New York City, a lot of people still don’t feel 100-percent comfortable with the idea. Luckily, the city made its outdoor dining program permanent and year-round and gave restaurants the go-ahead to install outdoor heat lamps. If you’re looking for one of these spots to dine al fresco without shivering, we’ve begun a running list throughout the city. Know of another spot? Let us know in the comments!
Photo of dining room by Adam Pass
The massive new flagship of entertainment venue and restaurant City Winery will open this week at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57. Starting October 15, the restaurant will accept reservations for limited capacity indoor and outdoor dining, with 200 seats available inside and 70 seats outside. City Winery was forced to move from its longtime Varick Street location last year after the Walt Disney Company purchased the property with plans to open new production space and offices there.
Less than two weeks after reopening for the first time in over six months, Grand Central Oyster Bar has temporarily closed again. The Midtown East restaurant resumed indoor service at its iconic dining room on September 30, the day indoor dining was permitted again in New York City. But with indoor dining capped at 25 percent capacity in the city, the Oyster Bar, which normally relies on commuters and tourists, could not do enough business to stay open.
Photo of Peter McManus Cafe © James and Karla Murray
Like thousands of small businesses, one of New York City’s oldest family-run establishments is struggling to survive because of the coronavirus pandemic. Irish bar Peter McManus Cafe, located at 152 Seventh Avenue in Chelsea, has been serving pints of Guinness and their famous burgers since 1936. While the McManus family, who has continuously owned the bar for four generations, has seen their fair share of challenges in its 84 years, COVID-19 has made it increasingly difficult to stay in business.
Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse may be closing for good, reports The City. The lakeside restaurant and event venue has been in business since 1954 and is not only an iconic spot for New Yorkers, but it’s been featured in films like When Harry Met Sally and 27 Dresses. According to The City, the venue’s owner furloughed the Boathouse’s 163 workers in March, but a recent Department of Labor notice says that the layoffs “will now be considered permanent” due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”
All photos courtesy of Eataly
Eataly’s seasonal restaurant in the Flatiron District has undergone a transformation once again. Last week, Serra d’Autunno by Birreria debuted at the 14th-floor rooftop with a new concept dedicated to honey, with “buzzworthy” specialty menu items and cocktails. The restaurant has also partnered with New York-based The Honeybee Conservancy to donate 10 percent of net proceeds from every “honey-focused” dish to the group’s Sponsor-a-Hive program.
Although the world’s biggest Oktoberfest festival in Munich won’t take place this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, there are still ways to celebrate Bavarian culture locally this month. Biergartens and beer halls across New York City are serving up traditional biers and brats, decking out their spaces with festive decorations, and putting on live music. And while indoor dining can officially resume as of this week, most restaurants also have spacious outdoor patios and gardens, as well as take-out and delivery options.
Map data © 2020 Google
One of the thousands of small businesses struggling to make ends meet in New York City’s pandemic world is Williamsburg’s Kellogg’s Diner, which has been in business since the 1940s. The 24-hour restaurant at the corner of Metropolitan and Union Avenues says it’s in danger of closing if the city doesn’t increase its indoor dining capacity from 25 to 50 percent. Referring to the fact that restaurants in the rest of the state are able to operate at half capacity, owner Irene Siderakis told Pix 11, “Why is it fair for them and not for us? I don’t understand. I don’t get it.”
“If I’m away from New York long enough, I need a correct pastrami sandwich from either Pastrami Queen or Katz’s. And you’re not getting that anywhere else, as far as I’m concerned,” said Anthony Bourdain in 2016. And New Yorkers will now have two locations from which to enjoy a Pastrami Queen sandwich, as West Side Rag reports that the 64-year-old business will open a second location (the first is on Lexington Avenue and 78th Street) tomorrow on the Upper West Side at the former Fine & Schapiro space at 138 West 72nd Street.