NYC to extend popular outdoor dining program permanently: de Blasio

The city’s COVID-era outdoor dining initiative, which allows restaurants to use sidewalk and street space to serve customers, will become permanent, Mayor de Blasio announced Friday.

“We will make the Open Restaurants initiative, permanent — and year-round,” de Blasio said on the Brian Lehrer show. “This has been, I think, an extraordinarily positive experiment, and it’s worked.”

The Open Restaurants program allows restaurants to use sidewalks and street space, primarily parking spots, to serve diners eating outdoors. Despite its popularity — more than 10,000 restaurants are now participating in the program — its long-term fate had become uncertain in recent weeks as temperatures began to dip and with winter on the horizon.


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