In the past two days, the city has seen nearly a 50 percent increase in restaurants opening for outdoor dining, the de Blasio administration said Wednesday.
On Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that 3,192 restaurants applied to reopen with seating on sidewalks and curb lanes or in existing outdoor areas. Wednesday morning, that number jumped to about 4,800, according to the mayor’s office.
Even so, those reopened make up a fraction of the approximately 27,000 restaurants in the city, but officials say they are receiving new applications every day.
Indoor seating for restaurants won’t be allowed until phase three of reopening, which may begin as early as July 6, if health benchmarks are met. Even then, they will not be allowed to exceed 50 percent of capacity.
While de Blasio has held up outdoor dining as a way to save restaurants from their misery, and visited Melba’s in Harlem on Monday to promote reopening, restaurants have expressed concern that it might not be enough to make rent.
Pushed by the City Council, the mayor streamlined the permitting process for outdoor dining, allowing restaurants to certify compliance on their own.
Contact Sasha Jones at [email protected]