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Parklets and Dining Sheds

Parklets and Dining Sheds

NYC losing appetite for dining sheds,” reads the LinkedIn News headline.

“Will New York City call last orders on its outdoor dining scene?” asked LinkedIn editor Harriet Sinclair. “Many of the city’s sidewalks and outdoor spaces were overtaken by sprawling outdoor dining areas and purpose built ‘sheds’ erected by restaurants amid the pandemic. But residents are not impressed, with some suing the city over safety concerns.”

True. New York City, like many others, implemented a program in 2020 to alleviate COVID risks of indoor dining. However, a group of residents have sued New York City to force an end to the outdoor dining program.

The lawsuit cites a bevy of complaints as reason to nix the Temporary Outdoor Restaurant Program. Cited are “excessive noise, traffic congestion, garbage and uncontrolled rodent populations, the blocking of sidewalks and roadways, causing petitioners and others to be unable to safely navigate the city’s streets and sidewalks, and a diminution of available parking upon which some of the petitioners depend.”

The New York Times ran a story titled, “The Final Days of New York’s ‘Wild West’ Outdoor Dining Scene.”

The City of New York is trying to advance a plan that will create new standards for outdoor dining. The city wishes to do this without ending up with abandoned or dangerous structures and disrespectful clientele. So, the Open Restaurants Program is in development.

However, litigation is slowing finalization of this plan. And winter is coming.

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