Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the first Open Streets: Restaurant partner organizations that will begin temporary street closures on weekdays for outdoor dining along select corridors. Earlier this month, the Administration had invited BIDs, community-based organizations, and groups of restaurants to submit applications to expand the enormously popular Open Streets: Restaurants, an initiative that combines the Open Streets and Open Restaurants programs. Previously, car-free hours had been limited to weekends.
“Restaurants deserve every chance they can get to serve more customers this fall – and, as the weather gets cooler, New Yorkers deserve every chance they can get to enjoy outdoor dining,” said Mayor de Blasio. “The Open Streets: Restaurants program has been a success, and we’re proud to grow its reach and give restaurants more tools to make it through this crisis.”
“The success of the Open Restaurants program can be seen and felt in every borough,” said Jonnel Doris, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “We are thrilled about this latest announcement which continues to address the needs we’ve been hearing from the restaurant industry.
“The Open Streets initiative has already saved tens of thousands of jobs across New York City, and so we expect that car-free outdoor dining on weekdays will give an even greater boost to the economy and the quality of life of our neighborhoods,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We thank Mayor de Blasio and all of our agency partners and community organizations who have stepped up to expand what has already been an incredibly successful team effort. Open Restaurants has been a lifeline for the restaurant industry during the COVID crisis, and has also helped all New Yorkers see new possibilities for how to use our streets in the future.”
The broader Open Restaurants initiative, which includes outdoor dining on sidewalks and in curbside parking spaces on streets open to traffic, and select pedestrian plazas, has surpassed 10,200 participating businesses in just over three months, saving an estimated 90,000 jobs across the five boroughs. The program continues through the end of October.
Open Streets: Restaurants is now operating on 87 participating streets across the five boroughs. The broader Open Restaurants initiative, which includes outdoor dining on sidewalks and in curbside parking spaces on streets open to traffic, and select pedestrian plazas, has surpassed 10,200 participating businesses in just over three months, saving an estimated 90,000 jobs across the five boroughs. The program continues through the end of October.
Weekday hours will begin as early as Thursday, September 17, varying by location. Hours for each participating location can be found on the Open Streets: Restaurant homepage.
“I will continue to work closely alongside Mayor de Blasio, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Speaker Corey Johnson, and small businesses to ensure that consumers are kept safe and that we continue expanding this important initiative.”
“The Open Streets Restaurants program has helped many small businesses struggling to stay open during these challenging times. We must continue expanding on the success of this initiative and make it accessible to all restaurants across the City. This initiative has allowed New Yorkers to reclaim their streets, creating car-free areas throughout the five boroughs. However, we need to make sure we are also setting up all proper safety road measures to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. “I will continue to work closely alongside Mayor de Blasio, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Speaker Corey Johnson, and small businesses to ensure that consumers are kept safe and that we continue expanding this important initiative.”
“The open streets program has really helped the restaurants that have been able to participate,” said Leslie Brown, President, Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. “As we are not ready for full capacity indoor dining being able to be outside with extended seats 7 days a week is a win for these restaurant owners. The community loves outdoor dining too!”
“Open Streets: Restaurants has been a lifesaver for my business. Not only does it provide extra space helping drive revenue, it has also helped create a safe place for people to dine. Thank you for trusting us to keep the people of NYC safe while we get back to doing what we love. Thank you for understanding the importance of NYC restaurants and being so helpful in getting our businesses up and running again,” said Sara Grizzle, Owner, Poco Restaurant.
“We are delighted the program will be extended and expanded and are proud to play a role in supporting its operation.”
“Open Streets: Restaurants has been a literal breath of fresh air for New Yorkers and a lifeline for many businesses,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “We are delighted the program will be extended and expanded and are proud to play a role in supporting its operation.”
“It is a great initiative. New York City restaurants can use all of the help we can get,” said Mitchell Rosen, Managing Partner, Hometown Bar-B-Que. “Come down to Red Hook and visit Reed St while it is open for outdoor dining during the week. The City is getting better every day!”
“The Open Streets program has significantly helped Rezdôra and our neighbors on 20th Street. We are thankful for an expansion of the program as we continue to navigate this unusual time and look forward to welcoming guests in the open air for the foreseeable future,” said David Switzer, Partner, Rezdora.