Sidewalk Cafes

Open Streets and Restaurants

CB6 is pleased that during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the City has launched its Open Streets and Open Restaurants plans. We’ve compiled information about Open Streets in our Community District and Open Restaurants.

There are three types of sidewalk cafes in Community Board Six: enclosed, unenclosed, and small unenclosed. Community Board Six reviews all new and renewal sidewalk cafe license applications for both enclosed and unenclosed cafes in Community District 6.

  • Enclosed sidewalk cafe: An enclosed area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that is constructed predominantly of light materials such as glass, plastic, or lightweight metal.
  • Unenclosed sidewalk cafe: An outdoor area on the public sidewalk in front of the restaurant that contains removable tables and chairs.
  • Small unenclosed sidewalk cafe: An unenclosed sidewalk café containing no more than a single row of tables and chairs next to the building. The tables and chairs can occupy no more than 4 feet, 6 inches of the public sidewalk.

The board’s Business Affairs & Street Activities committee reviews unenclosed café applications. The Business Affairs & Street Activities committee works with the Land Use committee and the Transportation committee on reviewing enclosed café applications.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs is the licensing agency for sidewalk cafés and as such applicants are required to comply with the regulations that they set forth.


Sidewalk Cafe Application Process

Applicant Submits License Application

The applicant will submit all license application requirements to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA).

Application Submitted to CB6

DCA will reviews the application materials and forward the application to the Community Board.

CB6 Questionnaire

Upon receipt of the application materials from DCA, CB6 will reach out to the applicant and ask them to submit a CB6 questionnaire. Additionally, applicants will be required to post CB6 signage publicly near the proposed establishment letting the community know of their intention to file for a sidewalk café license.

Committee Review

The Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee of CB6 will review the applicant’s questionnaire and invite the applicant to appear and the next committee meeting.

At the meeting, the applicant will be asked to walk the committee through their application and may be asked to agree to stipulations regarding the cafe’s size and configuration.

Board Resolution

The Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee will then vote on a resolution of either: no objection, no objection contingent upon agreed upon stipulations, or objection to the application. The chair of the Business Affairs and Street Activities Committee will present this resolution for a vote of the Full Board at the next monthly full board meeting. If a resolution passes a vote of the Full Board, it will be sent to DCA.

For residents with a concern about sidewalk clearance

CB6 depends on its residents to let us know about sidewalk cafes that may be in violation of City regulations regarding sidewalk clearance.

All sidewalk cafés must maintain a minimum clear path of eight (8) feet between the outer limit of the café and any object near the curb, including the curbstone.

If you believe a cafe is in violation of the 8 foot rule, please document the incident (time/date, location, photo), file a 311 request, and email BASA@cbsix.org