DOT Flags Impending Deadline for Restaurants to Apply for Outdoor Dining Program

The new logo for Dining Out NYC, the city’s new permanent outdoor dining program. Image Credit: New York City Mayor’s Office.

On June 5, 2024, Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez announced the impending deadline for restaurant owners to apply for the permanent outdoor dining program, “Dining Out NYC.” Restaurants with an existing outdoor dining set-up have until August 3rd to apply to participate in the permanent program or remove their set-ups. 

The permanent outdoor dining program was finalized earlier this year. It replaced the temporary outdoor dining program which required minimal steps for restaurants to start using outdoor dining set-ups during the start of the pandemic. The temporary program was based on powers granted by emergency executive orders, so once those orders expired, a new permanent program needed to be established. Under the permanent program, removable furniture can be used year-round on sidewalks and seasonally on roadway spaces in lieu of the solid dining structures that became popular during the pandemic. In the meantime, restaurant owners have been allowed to use their existing outdoor dining set-ups while the program was approved, finalized, and launched. 

An online application was launched in March. The Dining Out NYC website provides guidance, information and prototypes for restaurant owners to use to learn more about the program. The website features the Dining Out NYC Marketplace, which serves as a “one-stop shop” for restaurants looking to register to learn more about the storage of materials and furniture, companies that handle construction, assembly and disassembly, and moving. 

Now, restaurant owners have less than 60 days to apply. The application timeline takes up to six months for sidewalk cafes. Restaurants who submit their applications by August 3rd must bring their dining set-ups into compliance with the new rules within 30 days of the application’s approval or by November 1, 2024, whichever is first. Failure to comply with the August 3rd deadline can result in a first time penalty of $500 and $1000 fines for subsequent penalties. 

Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez stated, “Don’t delay, apply today! Restaurants with outdoor dining setups have until August 3 to apply for Dining Out NYC, and we are making it as easy as possible to participate. New Yorkers enjoy outdoor dining and the vibrancy it brings to our communities, and that is why we are proud that Dining Out NYC has made outdoor dining a permanent part of our streets.”


Small Business Services Commissioner Kevin D. Kim stated, “Outdoor dining has changed the way New Yorkers experience their city and their streets, and has become integral to the thousands of restaurants, bars, and cafes across the five boroughs. If you’re a small business owner and need help with your outdoor dining application, SBS is ready to walk you through the process and connect you with the resources you need! Call us on our hotline at 888-SBS-4NYC, go to the Dining Out NYC website, and visit the new online Dining Out Marketplace. Move over, Paris – New York is the global destination for outdoor dining!”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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