Mayor de Blasio said the city will allow restaurants to set up seating outside year-round, and the policy will continue indefinitely. De Blasio told WNYC host Brian Lehrer outdoor dining will be “permanent and year-round” on Friday, cheering advocates for the city’s restaurants.
A manager at Serafina on 77th Street and Broadway, for instance, told CBS this week that the restaurant was waiting for approval from the city on heat lamps. Without them, the restaurant was suffering.
AnnaMaria Matteis, manager at Serafina on the Upper West Side, said she could solve chilly diners’ problems immediately with heat lamps, but she says the city has yet to provide clear guidelines on outdoor heating.
Matteis said it’s costing her customers.
“We have so many reservations that called and said tonight is going to be too cold, and they cancel,” Matteis said.
Electric heat lamps will be allowed on the sidewalk and street but gas heat will only be allowed on the sidewalk, Gothamist reports.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance, which advocates for restaurants and hotels, called outdoor dining “a critical lifeline for thousands of small businesses and jobs throughout the five boroughs during the COVID-19 pandemic.”