City Council proposes bill to expand outdoor dining permanently

Legislation also would legalize outdoor propane heaters

Council members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers (Twitter, NY City Council, Getty)
Council members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers (Twitter, NY City Council, Getty)

Curbside cuisine may become a permanent fixture in New York City’s streets.

A new bill introduced in the City Council Tuesday would repeal the current temporary program and make outdoor dining a lasting staple.

The bill is being introduced by Council members Antonio Reynoso and Keith Powers. In addition to expanding outdoor dining, the bill would legalize outdoor propane heaters.

“Outdoor dining has been a lifeline to restaurants across all 5 boros during COVID19. Extension of the program + allowance of heat lamps will help the restaurant industry stay afloat,” Reynoso said in a tweet Tuesday.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio previously expanded the outdoor dining initiative so that it would return next year after expiring Oct. 31. Indoor dining is set to begin Sept. 30 at 25 percent capacity.

However, long-term outdoor dining has been a cause for concern for many restaurant owners in the city.

As of now, only portable natural gas heaters may be installed, following strict approval and regulations. They also can be pricey, running anywhere from $150 to $1,000 each.

Restaurateur Philippe Massoud told The Real Deal in August that if city officials “don’t want the real estate market to crash, and they don’t want a 1929-style cataclysmic depression, they better come up with something, because we are slowly marching to our graves.”

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