Assembly Passes Legislation to Continue to Allow Outdoor Dining On Sidewalks and Streets

Speaker Carl Heastie and Assemblymember Patricia Fahy today announced the passage of legislation that would allow restaurants to continue to use streets and sidewalks for outdoor dining for an additional year as they work towards recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic (A.7733, Fahy).

“The restaurant industry has been one of the hardest hit industries by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many restaurants stayed in business by adapting their business model to outdoor dining,” said Speaker Heastie. “This legislation will ensure that restaurants trying to rebuild their businesses can continue to utilize outdoor dining as a means to economic recovery.”

“Outdoor dining utilizing sidewalks and street space has become a financial lifeline for restaurants during the pandemic,” said Assemblymember Fahy. “Not only has it helped hundreds of small, locally-owned businesses remain in business, it's also proved a popular boon to our local economies and ‘Main Streets.’ This legislation will allow those restaurants to continue utilizing outdoor spaces for another year to help keep their doors open and continue to help them get back on track, and I thank my Assembly colleagues for joining me in extending New York’s ‘open streets.’”

Restaurants were particularly hard hit by the pandemic and while many have been forced to close their doors permanently, many more have survived due to the ability to operate outdoors on sidewalks and streets. However, restaurants that sell alcohol were only allowed to operate outdoors because of an executive order, a privilege that will only last as long as the executive order is in effect. This bill will ensure that these restaurants can continue to operate outdoors for another year as they work to gain back stability and recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.