Eyes on the Street: Midtown Pop-Up Café an Instant Attraction

Pop-up indeed!

A reader sends along this photo of the new pop-up café on 44th Street, just west of Third Avenue. The local community board just approved the café in March, while one local resident, convinced that Midtown is an “inappropriate location” for more public seating, was still fighting to block it last month. Now the chairs have been set out and residents and visitors in this crowded part of the city are already using it to sit and chat. This photo was taken early in the morning on a Saturday, and we hear it gets much more use on weekdays.

  • carma

    i would generally be against to having sit in that area. who would want to breathe taxi fumes and be inches away from a bad driver. sidewalks cafes are nice, in the sense you still have a barrier of parked cars. (i guess except for those crazy running the curb drivers)

    but if this generates more business. heh, more power to them.

  • carma

    i would generally be against to having sit in that area. who would want to breathe taxi fumes and be inches away from a bad driver. sidewalks cafes are nice, in the sense you still have a barrier of parked cars. (i guess except for those crazy running the curb drivers)

    but if this generates more business. heh, more power to them.

  • Danny G

    Would I be correct in assuming ‘that area’ you are referring to is Manhattan between 23rd and 59th streets? 🙂

  • Danny G

    Would I be correct in assuming ‘that area’ you are referring to is Manhattan between 23rd and 59th streets? 🙂

  • carma


    . Alcohol and smoking aren’t allowed within a pop-up cafe”

    Just read this.. What???? That makes me definitely not want to sit in that area. royal bummer

  • Elizabeth

    You took my parking spot.

    Where is George Costanza?

  • Elizabeth

    You took my parking spot.

    Where is George Costanza?

  • J

    Oh man, if they only called them “parklets”, as was done in SF, these would be all over the Village right now. It’s easy to fight against noisy cafes, but who is seriously against more parks in that area?

    Also, the word cafe has a very upper-crust and exclusive sound to it. I can’t afford to go to many of the cafes in SoHo, but I can certainly go to the parks.

  • Driver

    This cafe is eliminating a commercial loading zone, which are already in short supply in this area. This area is already a nightmare for making deliveries, as there is simply too much commercial activity for the amount of legal curb space (there are a lot of no standing zones). Removing legal parking and forcing trucks to drive (crawl) around in weekday traffic does not help the area any.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Wait! Didn’t WPIX say this cafe would never work. Was a bad idea? Was WPIX wrong? What?

  • carma

    costanza is playing frogger on the mean streets.

  • Ian Dutton

    …as in all public plazas, parks and beaches. (Effective May 25th)

  • peter

    And to think, we could be warehousing another hunk of metal there.

  • M

    It was actually a taxi stand.

  • carma

    another nanification of the mayor. i can understand the no-smoking in restaurants, but he just pushed a little too many buttons. The little mayor is in his own little world.

    i mean, one of the reasons you go to a restaurant is to have a meal, and to compliment it with a glass of wine. if the so-called pop up cafe was supposed to be an extension of the restaurant, why limit it to not serving alcohol?

  • Ian Dutton

    Carma – you’re all wrong. Really. All. A sidewalk cafe is an extension of a restaurant. It is properly permitted with DCA and has a modification of their liquor license issued by the SLA.

    A “pop-up cafe” is more correctly a tiny public park which is sponsored by an adjacent restaurant/cafe. Sure, they intend for patrons to buy something from the business and take it outside and enjoy it, but it is NOT an extension of their business, they MAY NOT have table service in the public parklet and all rules applying to parks and plazas apply here.

    And since you’re against the idea of sitting here – don’t! I won’t have to worry about you taking up the last chair. Move along!

  • carma

    thank you for the enlightenment. i read in full detail. w/ that.

    i still wont sit in one of those. ill be glad to move my snobby butt for your snobby butt to sit there.

  • Driver

    I rarely work in that area, but on google street view it appears to be a loading zone. Perhaps it was changed since then.

  • Driver

    Facilitating deliveries and building maintenance is not the same as warehousing a hunk of metal. Those hunks of metal are what keeps all the people in those buildings working and eating and drinking. Deliveries and building maintenance are not optional.

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