Nearly two dozen of New York City's Open Streets will now feature Open Restaurants summer weekends thanks to a new initiative announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio Thursday.
"Starting this weekend 22 Open Streets will also have Open Restaurants on them," de Blasio said during his daily press briefing. "Some of them will be existing Open Streets, some of them will be new, but it's going to be amazing because it’s going to key in to some of the places in the city where we have extraordinary restaurants concentrated in one place. People love to go there anytime but now imagine being able to enjoy it all al fresco."
The initiative comes as the majority of the country has seen a spike in coronavirus cases. Although the tri-state area seems to be controlling the spread, there have been instances of mass indoor bar gatherings, including in New Jersey, that the mayor wants to avoid. California and a number of state have already rolled back on opening bars and indoor dining.
Indoor dining in New York City was supposed to take place during Phase III of its reopening. However, both de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo paused the reopening of the indoor dining for New York City indefinitely citing the increase of coronavirus cases across the nation. New Jersey also put a pause on its indoor dining plans for the same reason.
"Given everything we are seeing all over the country -- all the troubling realities in other parts of the country and a lot of it connected to bars and restaurants so we have to double down on Open Streets and Open Restaurants and bring them together to address the situation and give maximum options to our restaurants to their employees and we know that people want it," de Blasio said. "We’ve seen an incredible, incredible response from the people of New York City."
The mayor said that 2.62 miles of the city's Open Streets will be part of the dining initiative.
The streets participating in the Open Streets, Open Restaurants initiative are:
- Broadway (Flatiron Partnership)
- Orchard Street (LES Partnership)
- Broome Street (LES Partnership)
- West 46th Street (Times Square Alliance)
- Mulberry Street (Little Italy Merchants Association)
- Hester Street (Little Italy Merchants Association)
- Doyers Street (Chinatown BID)
- East 101st Street (Uptown Grand Central)
- Gansevoort Street (Meatpacking BID)
- 9th Street (Meatpacking BID)
- 13th Street (Meatpacking BID)
- Little West 12th Street (Meatpacking BID)
- Bell Boulevard (Bayside Village BID)
- 41st Avenue (Bayside Village BID)
- New Dorp Lane (New Dorp BID)
- Arthur Avenue (Belmont BID)
- 5th Avenue (Park Slope 5th Avenue BID)
- Reed Street (Red Hook Business Alliance)
- Dock Street (DUMBO)
- Main Street (DUMBO)
- Washington Street (DUMBO)
- Anchorage Pl (DUMBO)
"Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, 5th Avenue in Park Slope, Little Italy, Mulberry Street, here in Manhattan. Think about what is possible if we could make them centerpieces of outdoor dining," de Blasio said. "Taking a tough situation and turning it into something good. We’re going to do it all over the five boroughs. We are going to do it with business improvement districts and local alliances and associations that have been key partners in the Open Streets."
According to de Blasio, the initial streets participating in the dining initiative are just the start as the city has plans for more streets to participate.
The initiative will take place on Friday nights and weekends this summer.
"This will be for Friday nights and weekends – the times when most people want to come out to restaurants and we think its going to be something very special," de Blasio said.
"We are very excited. It’s going to open up a world of possibilities and get a lot of people back to their jobs…this is going to help a lot," the mayor said.