Open Restaurants

Policy, Restaurants

Image courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

New York City businesses on streets closed to cars under the Open Streets program reported better sales than those located on streets with car traffic, according to a new study. The city’s Department of Transportation on Tuesday released a report that highlights for the first time the positive economic impact of the Open Streets program, which was established at the start of the pandemic as a way for New Yorkers to remain safe and later grew into a lifeline for restaurants and bars. According to the report, Open Streets saw more new businesses open during the pandemic, stronger sales, and a higher number of restaurants and bars stay open than on similar commercial corridors not participating in the program.

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Policy, Restaurants

Photo courtesy of Eden, Janine and Jim on Flickr

New York City’s outdoor dining program is here to stay after a New York State Supreme Court unanimous decision. The state court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that had been stalling the establishment of a permanent outdoor dining program. Roughly eight months after the City Council approved a zoning amendment in a move toward permanent outdoor dining, the city says it will now be able to finalize rules and regulations to ensure the Open Restaurants effectively serves local businesses.

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Policy, Restaurants

Image courtesy of Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

The city has razed and removed two dozen abanonded dining sheds this week, under a new program announced by Mayor Eric Adams. The mayor on Thursday introduced a multi-agency initiative that will highlight open and active outdoor dining sheds in the city’s Open Restaurants program and remove neglected structures of shuttered restaurants. The city launched the Open Restaurants program in 2020 to keep businesses open during the pandemic, ultimately saving 100,000 jobs, according to Adams. While the majority of restaurants with outdoor dining follow the guidelines, the abandoned sheds have become eyesores.

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