City Hall Announces More ‘Open Restaurant’ Streets for this Weekend
As we do most Fridays, here are this weekend’s new dining zones created by City Hall. With these six new locations, there are now roughly 90 “open restaurants” streets (which operate during weekend hours):
- West 36th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in the Garment District.*
- East 28th Street between Madison and Park aves in the Flatiron District.*
- East 29th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues.*
- Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 112th and 120th streets in Harlem.
- Hoyt Street between Pacific and State streets in Boerum Hill.
- Ditmars Boulevard between 33rd and 36th streets in Astoria.
(* These new locations are close to, or contiguous, with several other open restaurant streets. A full list of the dining piazzas is here.)
The “Open Streets: Restaurants” program complements the city’s other outdoor eatery initiative, “Open Restaurants,” which has allowed close to 10,000 restaurants [map] to set up tables on the sidewalk and along the curbside in space typically occupied with stored cars.
The latest additions to the program show strong participating from the mostly commercial Flatiron District, which has long been lobbying the city for more use of under-used roadways for recreation and dining.
“We are excited” by the dining program,” James Mettham of the Flatiron 23rd St Partnership said in a statement. “Restaurants are facing dire circumstances and they need all the help that government – on all levels – can provide. Outdoor dining has already been a lifeline to many restaurants in Flatiron and NoMad, and we’re pleased that more restaurants in our district will now be able to expand their footprint into the street and safely serve more guests.”
That said, one caveat against the program is its continued failure to broadly include communities of color, a possible result of the city relying too much on the involvement of business improvement districts, which cover a tiny (and wealthier) part of the city. Of the 75 open restaurant piazzas named on the DOT website, 50 are linked to BIDs or other neighborhood groups and 25 are linked to individual restaurants on a given strip.