SoHo’s Rejected Pop-Up Cafés Won’t Appear Elsewhere

The pop-up café on Pearl Street has boosted foot traffic and improved business for nearby restaurants. Image: NYCDOT

Last Thursday evening, Manhattan Community Board 2 voted down five of six approved pop-up cafés in their neighborhood, choosing parking spaces over public seating.

In the wake of that defeat, we were hoping that, as with Midwestern governors sending their high speed rail dollars to California, their loss would be someone else’s gain. Would those cafés pop up on another neighborhood’s street?

Unfortunately, that won’t be happening. The 12 cafés proposed by DOT, listed at the bottom of this Post article, were the full list of applicants that met all of DOT’s siting criteria, according to a department spokesperson. Accordingly, CB 2’s decision to kill its pop-up cafés won’t mean that somewhere else can get them instead.

There will still be some new pop-ups, however. According to DOT, Community Board 6 has approved a pop-up café in front of Le Pain Quotidien on Third Avenue near 45th Street. The only pop-up café approved outside of Manhattan, sponsored by Cobble Hill’s Ecopolis Café, received a unanimous vote from the CB 2 transportation committee, though it still needs a vote from the full board. The two remaining locations, both in Midtown, had not been presented to their community boards as of the end of last week.

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