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Open Restaurants

NYC’s Open Restaurant Program is an effort to implement a citywide multi-phase program to expand outdoor seating options for food establishments to promote open space, enhance social distancing, and help them rebound in these difficult economic times.

This program is designed to assist existing food establishments that have been authorized by the Governor of the State of New York to re-open under Phase Two and want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis. Food establishments need to apply for permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway. You do not need to apply to place outdoor seating on private property.

Outdoor Dining Area Siting Requirements

Please review the requirements to determine if your location qualifies to have an Open Restaurant sidewalk and/or roadway seating area.

Submitting an application is an acknowledgement that the establishment understands and agrees to all applicable terms and conditions and all applicable laws and guidance. If an establishment is not compliant, the City may revoke or suspend its authorization at any time during the program period.

Sidewalk Seating

  • Sidewalk seating area may not exceed business frontage
  • Sidewalk seating must be adjacent to the building and maintain an 8 foot clear path free from certain obstructions between the seating and the curb and a 3 foot clear path on either side
  • Sidewalk seating must not be in a bus stop
  • Sidewalk seating area must not block doorways, standpipes, or Siamese connections
  • Tables and chairs must be provided by applicant

Roadway Seating

  • Roadway seating must be 8 feet wide and may not exceed length of business frontage
  • Roadway seating cannot be installed within a bus stop
  • Roadway seating must be sited at least 15 feet from a hydrant and 8 feet from a crosswalk
  • Roadway seating cannot be set up where curb regulation is No Standing Anytime, No Stopping Anytime, carshare parking space(s), in a bike lane, or bus lane or stop
  • Roadway seating may be set up where curb regulation is part time No Standing or No Stopping provided all barriers, seating, and ramps are removed when No Standing or No Stopping is in effect
  • Seating must be separated from the travel lane with a barrier
    • If located on a street with more than two travel lanes, barrier must be min 18-24 inches wide, such as planters, spaced maximum 4 feet apart
    • If located on a street with two travel lanes or less, barrier may be vertical element such as stanchions, barricades, or planters, spaced at maximum 5 feet apart
    • Barriers should not be higher than 36 inches tall, excluding plantings
  • Tables, chairs, and barriers must be provided by applicant

Prepare Documents to Self-Certify

Food establishments meeting NYC’s Open Restaurants requirements may apply for the program. Please have the following information available to apply:

  • Business name (DBA), address and contact information
  • Food Service Establishment Permit number
  • Dimensions of sidewalk and/or roadway seating areas

Establishments planning to serve alcohol must also provide:

  • State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) serial number
  • SLA license information
  • Licensee certification

Apply Online

To speed up the approval process, NYC is allowing food establishments to self-certify that they meet program requirements.

Apply to be an Open Restaurant in NYC Here

Upon submission of the application and selection of either or both outdoor seating options, establishments will fulfill all the requirements of the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) for the “of right” extension and/or “Municipal” extension and no further filing with SLA will be required.

Community based organizations and groups of food establishments may also express interest in offering seating on an Open Street by submitting an Open Streets application. Open Streets seating is planned for nights and weekends beginning in July 2020. Read more about Open Streets program.

Map of Establishments Participating in the Open Restaurants Program

The Department of Transportation has created a map of all of the establishments who have self-certified to be an Open Restaurant. On this map, you can filter by borough, community district, and more.