New York restaurants are bracing for another shut down — and it’s not the indoor dining ban that Gov. Andrew Cuomo put into effect this week.
A major snowstorm may hit the city this week, and if there’s significant precipitation, restaurants will be forced to close their outdoor dining setups under new guidance issued by the Department of Sanitation, the New York Post reported.
Sanitation has created two separate alerts for inclement weather: “snow alert” or “winter operations advisory.” If the latter is issued, restaurants will have to close down curbside dining before the storm is planned to hit.
Under the rules, businesses have to “remove or secure” outdoor dining furniture, as well as put away electric heaters and take down the tops of their structures, if possible, to make room for plows.
If more than 12 inches is forecast, structures have to be removed or consolidated “to take up as little space as possible.” Outdoor dining structures that are not part of the Open Restaurants program like sidewalk areas and backyard can stay open.
A foot of snow is expected to hit New York on Wednesday and a snow alert could be issued in advance. The looming snowstorm could be a major blow to restaurants that are already reeling due to the coronavirus, after months of closures and retrofitting their spaces to comply with the city’s Open Restaurants program.
“In the winter season, you know you’re going to have snow, you know you’re going to have rain and storms and with the cold, it’s impossible to really eat outside,” Marco Chirico, who owns Marco Polo Ristorante in Carroll Gardens, told the publication.
“They just put a nail in the coffin really for a lot of places.”
[NYP] — Keith Larsen