This is more or less the scene of yesterday, even if it took place outside of the walls. Veselka has the terrace of a café for several years, and had been packing food for take-out and delivery for a period of time. Thus, when the Monday came, all he needs to do is to install the metal pen around the pool to the space and leave more space than usual between tables.
Restaurants in Midtown and the financial district that rely on the office workers can not find the new outdoor dining room rules very useful. Places that used to attract many visitors from the outside are in a difficult situation, too. But coffee shops, sandwich joints, pizzerias, and other pillars of the residential areas are well positioned to take advantage of outdoor dining.
“It is a time, in some cases, where if you’re a neighborhood restaurant, and you rely on people who live in the community, you may fare a little better,” said Andrew Rigie, the executive director of the New York City Hospitality Alliance. Mr. Rigie, the group rarely sees eye-to-eye with the bureaucrats, seemed a little surprised on Monday. Normally, the acquisition of a sidewalk cafe permit lasts for about six months and costs about $5,000. In a single weekend, thousands of restaurants has been cleaned with no application fee.
“I’ve been fighting the bureaucracy and red tape for a long period of time, and this program really cut the red tape and costs for owners of restaurant,” he said. “It is truly remarkable.”