A dozen pop-up cafes to surface next year

DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan

As many as 12 new pop-up cafés may open in the spring in New York City, if they can gain approval from the Department of Transportation, the Wall Street Journal reported. A two-year pilot program allows temporary seating platforms for restaurants ineligible for sidewalk cafés due to narrow sidewalks or zoning restrictions. The pop-ups were a result of the “tremendous unmet need for quality public space in the city,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, DOT commissioner. “[It] was an innovative way to take a look at solving the riddle of how to create a sidewalk café in a place where there just isn’t enough sidewalk.” The owners of Fika Espresso Bar and Bombay’s Restaurant, on Pearl Street in the Financial District, housed the city’s first pop-up café, which went up in August and is expected to come down in the next two weeks. The DOT is accepting applications until Dec. 3 from eligible restaurants in all five boroughs. According to the Department of Consumer Affairs, the number of sidewalk cafés in the city has been on the rise, reaching 1,126 in the last fiscal year, compared with 884 in fiscal year 2006. [WSJ]

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