After more than three years of Open Restaurants, the COVID era program is drawing to a close. Now through 2024, the New York City Department of Transportation is introducing Dining Out NYC. We know that outdoor dining setups can be costly and are important to the bottom line of restaurants. With that in mind, we are encouraging all NoHo restaurants participating in outdoor dining to begin planning now.

The rule-making process is still ongoing, but it’s important to note that whatever these rules are will be the rules for the final, permanent version of this program. Public comments, including from restauranteurs, are accepted through November 20th, 2023. Click here to send in a comment.

We don’t know the exact timeline yet, and these dates are a little loose, but you should expect that no matter what, you’ll have to implement a new setup next year, sometime in the spring or summer. Additionally, November 2024 will mark the beginning of the seasonal program, and all roadbed setups will have to come down then.

Some of the key differences under the new program include:

  • Equitable fee structure – rates vary by location and setup size, and will be less than the pre-COVID Sidewalk Cafe Program
  • Setups must be safe, accessible, and easy to assemble and break down
    • No more fully enclosed structures 
    • Roadway setups allowed for an eight-month season (April through November) 
    • Sidewalk setups allowed year-round 
    • Clearer rules on siting, sizing, and buildouts
  • Licenses and revocable consents required, valid for four years
  • Click here for more detailed information on proposed setup rules.