Outdoor dining will come back next year beginning on June 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday, although the start date could potentially be bumped up to earlier next spring.
Over 9,700 restaurants have been issued outdoor dining permits, according to the Department of Transportation, which allows for eateries to set up tables and chairs on sidewalks and streets. The mayor said that 80,000 New Yorkers have been able to regain their jobs in the restaurant business due to the initiative, according to City Hall.
That success, along with New Yorkers’ ability to abide by social distancing rules at outdoor eateries, prompted the city to extend outdoor dining as the return of indoor dining remains up in the air.
“Chirlane and I walked around Park Slope and it was just absolutely amazing, just restaurant after restaurant filled with people but the right way, outdoors with the right distancing,” de Blasio told reporters. ” Folks are doing a good job of obeying the rules.”
Over 100 restaurants and bars have been issued citations from the State Liquor Authority for violating social distancing rules and 43 restaurants have had their liquor licenses revoked for failing to abide for pandemic protocols, according to Eater.
The outdoor dining program is scheduled to end on Oct. 31, but de Blasio said that extending the initiative further this year was not off the table.