NYC has extended its Open Storefronts program through September 30, 2021.
Originally expected to last only until the end of 2020, the program is similar to Open Restaurants, allowing other types of businesses to utilize sidewalk space outside of their establishments.
Open Storefronts first launched on October 30, 2020, and caters to retailers, repair and personal care services, and laundry and dry cleaning services.
Mayor de Blasio signed an executive order to extend Open Storefronts on Tuesday, while also expanding it to allow restaurants to sell pre-packaged food.
“We’re going to add stores and restaurants that sell pre-packaged food. We want to allow restaurants and other food stores to get out there and make their products available for take out right out there on the sidewalk, and we think that’s going to help them as they continue to fight to survive in this tough environment,” the mayor said at a Tuesday press conference.
In the spring of 2020, we saw some Upper West Side restaurants – like Mel’s Burger Bar and Pappardella – begin to open “outdoor markets,” selling a variety of packaged foods and general household goods.
Under the guidelines provided by the Open Storefronts program, participating businesses will need to make some accommodations for pedestrian traffic. Some of the specific criteria includes allowing a walkway of 8 feet, setting up shop within 5 feet of the property line, and ensuring displays and tables are no more than 5 feet in height. Businesses will also be allowed to use pop up tents and weighted umbrellas.
Learn more about Open Storefronts here.
If sidewalk walkways are consistently less than 8′-0″ wide, where should that be reported to? There is a specific restaurant that has steadfastly had erected external tents that constrain traffic flow, and these tents have been “in the way” for some months.