The future of outdoor dining began to take shape Friday, when the city unveiled new guidelines for its outdoor dining program, including more details on structure fees and designs.

Last summer, Mayor Eric Adams approved a new set of outdoor dining rules to phase out bulky sidewalk sheds, which were first authorized during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current sheds remaining will be permitted to stay throughout the rest of the winter and into the summer but must be removed by November.

Friday’s guidelines further outlined that any establishment seeking to utilize the curb lane for "roadway" dining now must design the structure to allow for visibility. Canopies will be permitted, but they need to be open. Additionally, restaurants must dismantle outdoor dining setups each winter.

“I think that everyday more New Yorkers are coming to realize that our street is not only [meant] to be used for cars, that the street is a public access, and we need to reimagine the use of public space,” Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said in a “Mornings On 1” interview Friday.

Sidewalk dining will be permitted year-round, but subject to stricter design requirements and explicit instructions regarding fire hydrants and subway entrances. All sidewalk barriers must also be movable to prevent them from becoming potential hiding places for rats.

The city will specify a fee structure for putting up sidewalk dining structures, particularly in areas with high restaurant density and foot traffic. Fee information regarding square footage and density rates will be available at

Additionally, the city’s Department of Transportation will start accepting applications in March for the permanent outdoor dining program. If restaurants wish to have both sidewalk and roadway cafes, they must apply for separate licenses for each.