New York City’s New Outdoor Dining Rules

February 14, 2024 Advisory

On Feb. 2, 2024, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the rollout and final rules for the “Dining Out NYC” program that will run from April 1 to Nov. 29 each year for roadway cafes. This replaces the COVID-19-era Open Restaurants program.

The new program includes clear design requirements: siting criteria in relation to street features such as fire hydrants and the types of materials that can be used in outdoor setups. They also require setups to include water-filled, rat-resistant protective barriers for roadway cafes along with easily moveable furniture and coverings. The new program hopes to create a lighter-weight outdoor dining experience with lines of sight, as compared to the fully enclosed shacks of the temporary, COVID-19-era program.

Restaurants will be required to apply for new outdoor dining licensing starting in March of this year with new setups going up this spring and summer. Each restaurant will be required to come before the local Community Board for a hearing where members of the public are able to publicly comment. A vote in favor or no action will speed the application along, while being voted down at the Community Board will kick off a process of hearings that can slow and possibly result in an application’s denial.

If an outdoor dining license is issued, a sidewalk café would be permitted to operate year-round. A roadway cafe, on the other hand, would be permitted to operate once a license is issued from April 1 to Nov. 29. All cafes will be permitted to operate from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Armstrong Teasdale is available to assist cooperatives and condominiums in supporting the application of tenant restaurants or opposing the application of neighboring restaurants who have been poor operators. Through this process, Armstrong Teasdale can support your building in seeking improvements to proposed outdoor dining, rat mitigation, handling of trash and other issues that might arise. You can learn more about Dining Out NYC at

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