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NYC Outdoor Dining Will Return Next Year—Even If Covid-19 Doesn’t

NYC Outdoor Dining Will Return Next Year—Even If Covid-19 Doesn’t

Open air, curbside dining was such a success in New York City that it will return next year, regardless of the pandemic, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who lauded the program—being used across the country—as a silver lining for the hard-hit hospitality industry.

KEY FACTS

  • De Blasio announced the planned return of the “Open Restaurants” initiative on Monday during a City Hall presser, highlighting the “tremendous success” of al fresco eateries.
  • “We are going to do this again next year,” said the mayor, outlining a planned start of June 1, 2021, though maybe earlier and “hopefully under much, much better conditions.”
  • Restaurants began transforming sidewalks and parking spaces into Parisian-esque outdoor dining areas in late June as the city entered phase two of reopening.
  • With indoor dining still off the table—a July reopening was delayed after cases began surging nationwide—outdoor dining has become the new norm in New York, with the city looking to extend past this year’s planned Oct. 31 end date in addition to the 2021 return.
  • The mayor said over 9,000 eateries across the five boroughs have signed up for the “Open Dining” program, for which over 60 streets are closed to cars on the weekend.
  • According to de Blasio, more than 80,000 New Yorkers have “gotten their jobs back” because of the program.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

“We have seen this experiment worked,” said de Blasio. “I want folks who own the restaurants to know that they’re going to have that additional revenue going forward … It’s been an extraordinary success.”

BIG NUMBER: 83%

The percentage of New York City eateries and bars unable to make full rent in July, according to a survey released Monday, while 37% were unable to pay at all.

KEY BACKGROUND

The hospitality industry has been suffering heavily throughout the pandemic, forcing restaurants and bars to get creative in order to survive. Outdoor dining programs, like New York’s, are being used across the country to support sputtering businesses. On Monday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the expansion of an outdoor dining program that has already supported “more than 250 restaurants and bars to date.” Some restaurants in Wisconsin, San Francisco and Portland are also benefiting from open air options while waiting for indoor service to restart.

The article was published on forbes.com

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