Columbus Avenue’s New Open Street Starts Sunday; These Restaurants are Participating

Columbus Avenue will be closed to traffic from 68th to 77th Street starting this Sunday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m., and then every Sunday after that until at least November 14. The idea is to allow people to walk, bike and mingle in the street and for restaurants to be able to set up seating.

For the first couple of weeks, the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District will concentrate on making sure the barriers stay up to keep cars from driving on the streets, and spreading the word about the open street. In some areas — like an Open Street on West End Avenue last year — vehicles have bypassed barriers and driven on streets that were supposed to be closed.

Eventually, the BID also plans to creating programming to bring the streets alive and engage more people.

For now, these restaurants will be adding seating, and more may do so in the weeks ahead:

Asset (329 Columbus Ave)
Kissaki (286 Columbus Ave)
Angaar (283 Columbus Ave)
Harvest Kitchen (269 Columbus Ave)
Ella (249 Columbus Ave)
Manny’s Bistro (225 Columbus Ave)
El Mitote (208 Columbus Ave)
Magnolia Bakery (200 Columbus Ave)
Francesco’s Pizza (186 Columbus Ave)
Il Volino (180 Columbus Ave)
FOOD, NEWS | 34 comments | permalink
    1. Mary Jones says:

      We had that on West End Ave, the traffic never stopped and eventually more and more cars, faster and faster, didn’t work. So they stopped it.

    2. js says:

      For restaurant street dining, the M11 and M7 have already been rerouted on Amsterdam 96-120 or 106-120 approximately on weekends for a year. Columbus too.

      Now here too…

      BTW the TD bike event was switched to 8/29 – which means additional bus rerouting.

      Not ok to sacrifice bus mass transit, especially for private business.

    3. The outdoor restaurant areas are fantastic and I think that they must remain permanent parts of the city because their presence has transformed NYC into a city of PEOPLE instead of CARS!!!! I think it is essential to NYC’s future! I hope the new city council members understand the importance of the change these struggling, inventive restaurants have brought. I hope that new council members don’t start putting petty restrictions on these structures — they are essential to our city’s economic health. They will draw people to the city, just as outdoor restaurants in Paris draw people from all over the world. These outdoor restaurants MUST STAY PERMANENTLY!!!

      • Huh says:

        Fine. Get rid of the cars. But keep bus lanes and emergency vehicle access.
        Many senior citizens,kids and others rely on the buses. Yes, even on Sundays.It’s very disruptive.

        • FIGHT THE POWER says:

          If you eliminate vehicles how are the stores and eateries going to get their supplies?
          THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.

      • Paul says:

        Roads are for transportation. Trucks, buses, cabs, and yes, cars. And get rid of the cars? The trucks and cabs will just drive faster.

      • Quan Lee says:

        I like to know the bus is where it’s supposed to be – on it’s REGULAR ROUTE.

      • Elyse says:

        The City will not have a future, if business disintegrates because vendors cannot deliver, customers cannot get places, and a few people sit around and have a margarita! This is a City for all people, with many different viewpoints. Be tolerant. No one constituency is in charge.

        • Jay says:

          Then why does it seem like the only constituency that matters is the one that advocates for private cars everywhere?

          Public space is being used slightly different for a tiny percentage of the week and everyone on the rag reacts as though the whole world is ending. Luckily, reality is different.

          • Huh says:

            It’s possible to remove parking spaces. Many are already repurposed for outdoor dining on these same open streets. That would be less pandering to a car culture. But letting traffic flow (even private cars) especially delivery trucks taxis buses and emergency vehicles is important.

    4. yoma says:

      Aren’t most of these restaurants already serving a lot of people outdoors? Ella is, Il Violino is, El Mitote definitely is… Harvest Kitchen has a large and imposing sidewalk space…same with Magnolia …

      What’s the point?

    5. A friend says:

      Will cars be able to cross Columbus Avenue on 74th, 75th street?

      • Morgan Moore says:

        We live on Columbus and 74th. It looks like all streets that run east and west (69/70/71/72 etc.,.) were all open to traffic. You just cant travel southbound on Columbus.

    6. MARCI says:

      The idea is ridiculous we have two parks close by and people can walk ther. The west End Avenue attempt was a miserable failure on a street badly need for auto traffic.

    7. gina says:

      Great idea. We should be more of a pedestrian/bike city. Please get rid of private cars!

    8. LIz says:

      I am very pro-business but I think this is a stupid move; streets are for traffic, not dining and it is unfair to other restaurants, say on side streets, who have to compete with these places. This is going to create a huge amount of congestion on 77th Street, already busy with the Historical Society, food trucks, AND the Sunday Farmers’ Market.

    9. Richard says:

      Another ill-advised attempt at social adjustment. Families use buses and cabs down Columbus Avenue to get to religious services, Lincoln Center and Times Square. The restaurants already have extra seating. Plenty of space to walk in Central Park. Only benefit is that the bikes and scooters will use the street instead of the sidewalks.

    10. Fed up UWS says:

      This was done with no community input – solely by Columbus BID and DOT. OUTRAGEOUS – families rely on Columbus for transportation and now another gridlock situation in our community. The Columbus BID should be ashamed of themselves

    11. Stef Lev says:

      In actuality, Columbus Ave open streets today was empty streets.

    12. Hi from Lincoln Square says:

      The Open Street concept is great for congested neighborhoods. Columbus Avenue clearly not congested today.

    13. Visitor Guide says:

      I actually enjoyed free space on my promenade walk in Columbus Avenue Sunday morning. I felt happiness waking up on bed in UWS on weekend.
      Remembering street fair almost every weekend before covid time, it’s nice to have open street once a month or so, although it’s not easy to tell weather condition in advance. If NYC government gives us coupon to eat out at local dining table with guests, it’s even better. We are local tax payer indeed. I welcome my visitors from out of town to have brunch in our neighborhood. Then we can visit museum or musical theater together. Population and referral give big tax income to NYC.

    14. George Hughes says:

      Columbus avenue was so much better in the 60s,70s and 80s before it turned into the “uppity west side”

      • Christina says:

        Sorry but no one wanted to walk on Columbus Ave in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Certainly not from 90th street down to the 60’s. I lived on Columbus Ave on 95th Street in the 1970’s, it wasn’t the best below 90th street.

    15. UWS says:

      I live on this part of Columbus and the open streets event yesterday was a huge success. I saw hundreds (not kidding) of little kids playing on bikes and scooters in the street throughout the day. It worked well with the weekly grand bazaar and farmers market, and seemed to bring a lot of the action further down Columbus to other businesses. This street gets very busy and Sundays and the extra space clearly encouraged more people to stick around. The BID and DOT did a great job with the event. Looking forward to more!

    16. William DeSeta says:

      A really dumb idea. Whee do the fools that came up with this idea expect the traffic o go? Amsterdam is already a parking lot having been reduced from 5 lanes to 2 and has become a parking lot. This idiocy certainly won’t help. I don’t own a car but recognize th necessity for them in certain cases. Tis is the most city, city in the world. If you want a bucolic life move to Vermont.

    17. Sivya says:

      Close West End Avenue again. It has become a truck route. Between the work on the street, construction, theft rucks and motorcycles it has become impossible especially for those of us who cannot escape to the hamptons or the Berkshire’s

    18. westside Gene says:

      Yesterday, I took a stroll down Columbus Ave to partake of the glory of the closed avenue/open street event. As I walked, I thought if only there was a car-less place to walk every day. Then I remembered that only 1 block away we have this secret obscure park that apparently many Westsiders don’t know about. YES it is CENTRAL PARK. They don’t have CARS. But they do have TREES, A LAKE, BICYCLE PATHS, HORSES, RESTAURANTS, ROW BOATS, and even ENTERTAINMENT and children play there all the time. I Thought why on earth would you close a major avenue all day on Sunday. Makes no sense. It would be a great idea in parts of the city with no nearby parks,, but is insanely stupid here.

    19. Meryl says:

      You need to keep bus lane open. The detours are interminable and many people rely on the bus down Columbus… especially those who prefer not to take the subway.
      This past Sunday was a bike race as well and CPW and Amsterdam closed in many sections. This is unacceptable. If you have an appointment or need to catch a train, you need to leave more than double the time.
      Take a walk in the park. Beautiful. Restaurants already have outdoor dining which I enjoy and appreciate. More of Columbus is not needed. Thank you

    20. Candice says:

      I enjoyed seeing Columbus traffic-free yesterday, and I plan to invite friends to join in next week. I didn’t see cars violating the barriers, but I wasn’t there all day.

    21. Morningside Girl says:

      The whiners and complainers in the 60s and 70s finally got their Open Streets. For a year, my neighborhood 106th – 110th street was ridiculed for not being cool enough for Open Streets, and remarks that the “real” UWS should have that luxury first were numerous. (We have an abundance of diverse restaurants on Amsterdam from 106-110 BTW, if the trek above 96th street was taken. Can we stop coveting now?

    22. Donald says:

      How are handicapped people like myself supposed to travel during these street closings???
      Is there no concern or thought for those who cannot just “walk around”and transverse tables, chairs, waiters and tourists? It is tough enough to navigate NYC streets without having to “fly” in a wheelchair from one avenue to another without this new obstacle. This is just another example of where words of “concern for those less fortunates” means nothing. Clever ideas and money rule once again!

    23. Larry says:

      Cyclists are dangerous and uncourteous, please get them out of this nice thing.

    24. David says:

      That was great yesterday