Open Restaurants

Temporary Outdoor Dining Seating to Allow Social Distancing During COVID-19 Recovery

Apply Here to be an Open Restaurant

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.

NYC's approach prioritizes geographic equity and allows us to reach the areas most impacted

by COVID-19.

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. This application is only for food establishments seeking 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.

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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.

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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

For translation assistance with the application, please contact us online.