Outdoor dining became crucial for many New Yorker restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now the city is looking to reshape some of its policies.
The City Council is expected to consider legislation next month that would make the city's outdoor dining program permanent, but limit the presence of sidewalk and roadway cafes to the warmer seasons. It would also rein in the creation and use of sheds or house-like structures.
It all comes after the original bill introduced last February was stalled for a variety of reasons, including disagreements between the City Council and Mayor Eric Adams over which department would oversee the program.
Meanwhile, advocates and restaurant owners say there is a demand for outdoor dining, no matter the season.
Sara Lind, the chief strategy officer of Open Plans, a nonprofit organization advocating for more livable streets and neighborhoods in the city, joined Errol Louis on “Inside City Hall” Monday night to discuss the future of outdoor dining and what her organization thinks about it.
"We love outdoor dining. We are excited the Council is moving toward a more permanent program. We think the program has to be year-round in order to function effectively," Lind said.