August 4, 2023
On Thursday, August 3, the City Council passed a bill allowing the dining sheds to remain. Intro 31 will repeal the city’s current sidewalk cafe permitting process and streamline it, plus allow roadway dining for three-quarters of the year. To allow restaurateurs to, as the bill’s summary states, “transition from the emergency outdoor dining program created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic” and apply for a new permit, the current roadway sheds will be allowed to stay up until November 2024. Once the permanent program kicks in, shed structures will no longer be allowed. Operators will instead be required to create outdoor dining spaces with removable furniture — chairs, tables, and possibly umbrellas. We will share more guidance as it becomes available.
Samara Karasyk, the BID’s C.E.O., said, “Open Restaurants was one of the most innovative city programs to emerge from the pandemic, offering a lifeline to businesses in the midst of crisis. We are thrilled that Open Restaurants will become a permanent option for small businesses and that the city is working to make it accessible for all businesses that want to participate. Open Restaurants will be a key way for us to create more livable public spaces. The Hudson Square community is excited to continue finding creative uses for our streetscapes that focus on the people that are living, working, walking and riding here.”
The next step is getting the bill signed into law by the mayor.