101st Street In East Harlem To Open For Outdoor Dining, City Says

East Harlem’s 101st Street will be transformed into an outdoor dining destination through a partnership between a neighborhood business group and the city.

East 101st Street between Park and Lexington Avenues will serve as dining space for neighborhood restaurants in a combination of the city’s Open streets and Open restaurant programs, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Restaurants will serve diners on the street on summer weekends starting Friday.

East Harlem business group Uptown Grand Central is the city’s partner in the new initiative. With the city and state moving this week to delay the return of indoor dining over safety concerns, the city is looking to open up more public space to help restaurants stay afloat amid the pandemic.

“Combining our popular Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs will give more New Yorkers the space they deserve to enjoy the outdoors safely – and give small businesses the chance to rebuild after facing unprecedented challenges this spring,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I’m excited to enjoy more outdoor meals soon, and we look forward to expanding the program in the coming weeks.”

Restaurants will operate on the open streets from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Twenty-two streets were announced as outdoor dining destinations on Thursday, with an additional round to be announced on July 17.

Business improvement groups, chambers of commerce and other community organizations can apply to partner with the city to transform open streets in their neighborhoods into outdoor dining corridors. Applications for the program launched in late June. The city will consult local elected officials and community boards over proposed corridors. About 7,000 New York City restaurants have started to serve diners outdoors since New York City entered phase two of its economic recovery in mid-June, according to city data.

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