Barstool Golf Time | Book Tee Times & Earn Free Barstool Golf MerchDOWNLOAD NOW


NYC Is DEAD: The City Council Voted To Make Curbside Seating Illegal Next Year


I'm apparently a few months late to this news but I asked a few other New Yorkers and everyone said they had no clue this was happening. I've also got an unpopular opinion about this, and it's that a new rule limiting these to only half of the year kills what is already a failing city. You're telling me I can't sip on my espresso martini while bicyclists ride right by and almost take off the waiter's head who is trying to balance multiple drinks on one hand in winter anymore? Is nothing sacred?

The real problem with this, and it's confirmed somewhat here by a business owner who hates the new rules, is that having to make a brand new structure that probably costs tens of thousands of dollars and keep replacing it is incredibly unreasonable:


But restaurant owners with outdoor setups say the new seasonal rules will end up wiping out many of the al fresco structures and decimate a program that is both wildly popular and crucial for medically vulnerable New Yorkers. 

"This is hell, what’s going on," said Charlotta Janssen, the owner of Chez Oscar in Bedford-Stuyvesant. "The only silver lining we restaurants had was outdoor dining. It’s like we’re disposable and erasable."

Under the law passed by the City Council in August, sidewalk seating will be allowed year-round. But crucially, curbside dining will only be allowed from April through November, which many restaurant owners say is a dealbreaker, because they can’t afford to take down, store, and rebuild their structures each year. In Paris, the number of curbside cafes fell from 12,000 to 4,000 when the program was made seasonal.

Samantha DiStefano, the owner of Mama Fox in Bed-Stuy, is afraid she’ll lose her popular streetside structure, which cost tens of thousands of dollars to build, if the City proceeds with the new rules. The loss of all the seating will mean laying off staff.

"Once it comes down, it’s down. There’s no way I can put it back up. I can’t afford to pay someone to take it down. I can’t afford to store it, and I certainly can’t afford to rebuild it every year," DiStefano told Hell Gate. "There is just no scenario in which this is doable for a small business. I’m sure there are large restaurant groups that have no trouble shelling out 40, 50, 60 grand to do it, but that’s not our situation."

The new proposed rules also state that restaurants will not be allowed to build enclosed structures and can’t have fixed roofs to protect against rain, only easily removable coverings or umbrellas. (In other words, no more sheds.) Streeteries won't be allowed in any no-standing zones. And in certain locations—when a setup is adjacent to an unmarked crosswalk or when a setup is adjacent to the approaching travel lane and an intersection—they’ll have to be at least 20 feet from a crosswalk, up from eight feet under current rules.

So not only can you not have it up the whole year, but you now can't protect against the rain with a shed. Maybe I'm old man yells at cloud here, but NYC dining post-COVID has been highly reliant on sitting outdoors. People love sitting outside, the restaurants make more money, and the only one who loses is maybe the 3 cars that could have otherwise parked there. I say feed them to the wolves and let them figure out parking for themselves like they've been doing for years now!

Well, look on the bright side. At least we've got a state-of-the-art facility located in the middle of Manhattan that is revered on the internet as HQ3. And by state of the art I mean we had no running water last week, our snack delivery gets slimmer every week, and they'll put a camera feed of Chicago just to watch them eat hibachi every day for lunch. The Big Apple baby. Nothing like it.