Photo : Shutterstock
As restaurants tackle how to convince customers it’s safe to dine out again—once it’s legal—they’ve explored everything from building private greenhouses to installing robots to take orders. But in a no-nonsense approach, New York City is pushing for a more practical solution: open up the sidewalks and streets.
The city council passed a number of measures today to help restaurants out during the current crisis, including waiving sidewalk consent fees. In other words, the city currently acts like a landlord and charges restaurants for setting up tables on public sidewalks.
“One of the best ways to reopen the city safely and support industries impacted by the shutdown is to reimagine how we use public space—sidewalks, streets, pedestrian plazas and parks—and allow restaurants to set up and serve food in these areas,” says Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, in an email statement sent to Time Out New York. “Plus, customers will be more comfortable eating outside, and New York City can be a leader in doing this in a safe, healthy way.”
“Outdoors is an interesting and promising possibility to rely on more of the service being outdoors,” de Blasio stated in a press conference last week. “You still need precautions, but that’s an interesting option we’re looking at.”
First appeared on Time Out New York