Dining out in New York City could soon be a reality again.
More than two months after New York City was locked down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Mayor Bill de Blasio said his goal is to reopen eateries in July, Bloomberg reported.
“We’ll do what it takes to help this key part of New York City, its economy, the wellspring of the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, to come back strong,” the mayor said, according to Bloomberg.
The city is preparing for the first phase of reopening on Monday (June 8), which includes construction, manufacturing, wholesale supply chain businesses, as well as many retailers for curbside pickup, in-store pickup, or drop off.
Restaurants are a key part of New York City’s economy, de Blasio said Thursday (June 4) at a press briefing, Bloomberg reported. The city’s Transportation and Planning Departments will allow eateries to convert adjacent parking spots into more seating. No permits will be needed to certify the street-side restaurants.
“We will provide a massive expansion of curbside seating and an expansion of open streets,” he said, according to Bloomberg.
More than 184,000 of the city’s 274,000 food and beverage workforce have lost their jobs due to the forced shutdown of the city economy brought by the pandemic, Comptroller Scott Stringer told Bloomberg.
In 2018, the most recent data available, there were a total of 19,400 restaurants, cafes and food trucks across New York City, supporting more than 141,000 jobs, $4.2 billion in wages, and $12 billion in direct economic output, according to a city report on nightlife industries.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said outdoor seating must be six feet apart, staff must wear masks and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement.
Last month, PYMNTS reported that the ability of restaurants to put tables in parking spaces can keep them open at near capacity.