Council Member Paul A. Vallone, Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein, and the Bayside Village BID are happy to announce that Bell Boulevard has been selected as one of the first business corridors to participate in the new citywide Open Streets: Restaurants program, which combines the Open Streets and Open Restaurants initiatives. The new program allows expanded seating options for restaurants on select corridors throughout the five boroughs on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays by collaborating with a local partner (in this case the Bayside BID) to facilitate street closures.
The Bayside Village BID will be managing two connected streets in Bayside as part of the program: Bell Boulevard, between 39th and 41st Avenues; and 41st Ave, between Bell Boulevard and 214th Place. These streets will be fully closed for restaurant use on Friday evenings, 5 to 11 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon to 10 pm. on Sundays.
Bell Boulevard will kick off the program on Saturday, July 4th, and expanded seating will last until Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7). An emergency clear lane will be maintained down the middle of the street to make sure that these streets remain safe and passable for emergency vehicles.
"I'm thrilled to share the news that Bayside's Bell Boulevard was selected to participate in the Open Streets: Restaurants initiative, which gives restaurant owners the power to expand their operations on the weekends and offer more diners food service in the open air, giving New Yorkers a safe way to enjoy a meal out while supporting their favorite local eateries," said Council Member Paul Vallone, who also chairs the Committee on Economic Development. "I thank the Bayside BID for their partnership and welcome this economic boon for our local restaurants, whose success will be a critical part of a strong economic recovery for New York City!"
"The opening up of Bell Boulevard for expanded outdoor dining is great news for both restaurants and customers," said Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein. "After months of isolation, many New Yorkers want to get out of their homes and enjoy a meal. This will allow for expanded seating capacity and help businesses begin to recover from the shutdown. I want to thank Council Member Vallone, Christine Silletti, Executive Director of the Bayside Village BID, and Community Board 11 for making this possible.
Between our customers and our restaurant owners, it's hard to tell who's happier! said Christine Silletti, executive director of the Bayside Village BID. It was important to support all of our small businesses, so we discussed the options as a community, as well as block by block, in order to come up with a plan. Council Member Vallone and his staff, Community Board 11, and the 111th Precinct have been super supportive of our small businesses and their need to get back to work (and fun) in a safe way.
The Bayside Improvement District was happy that the city allowed us to do our outdoor dining. We are now extremely excited that we now can expand our outside dining by closing the streets on weekends, said Dominick Bruccoleri, Bayside Village BID Chairman and owner of Papazzio Restaurant. The response from our community and our existing patrons has been not only overwhelmingly positive, but has also given Bell Boulevard a new face, look, and is the place to be. I would like to thank City Councilman Paul Vallone and his staff along with DOT for working so quickly and diligently together in developing vehicles that are helping us begin our reopening efforts.