PR: Extended Outdoor Dining Season

Contacts: Chris Heywood, NYC & Company, 212-484-1270
Patrick Muncie, NYC & Company, 212-484-1270


—City Businesses Prepare to Welcome Visitors and Couples with Special Offers and Promotions—

New York, NY (September 24, 2007)—New York City today announced that the outdoor dining season at restaurants and cafés throughout the five boroughs will be extended beyond the summer months. In a move to increase outdoor dining opportunities year-round, the Bloomberg Administration introduced a new rule that allows restaurants to install approved portable natural gas heaters in licensed sidewalk cafés and restaurants. The rule will give restaurants the chance to keep their outdoor dining spaces open longer while providing a comfortable and safe dining experience as the colder temperatures of the fall and winter approach.

"Dining at a sidewalk café in New York City is one of the most desired experiences for New Yorkers, as well a unique opportunity for the millions of people who visit the city each year," said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company, the City's official marketing and tourism organization. "By extending the ever-popular outdoor café season, the energy on our city streets will continue well into the winter months, as our visitors and residents alike take part in what is truly the quintessential New York City dining experience."

Restaurants with sidewalk cafés are at an all-time high, with approximately 900 legally operating throughout the City – a 25% increase compared to four years ago. With the process for getting a new café faster and easier than ever, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs works with the industry and neighborhood organizations to help ensure restaurants know the rules and requirements, as well as promote those that are licensed.

"Together, the City and the restaurant industry have found a way to hold off winter," said Commissioner Mintz. "With Mayor Bloomberg's leadership, we've been able to make it easier for restaurants to open and operate one of the City's great amenities and extend the café season year-round. Industry input has been invaluable. The hard work and coordination of our colleagues at the Department of Buildings and Fire Department has made it possible to ensure that restaurants are able to install approved heaters quickly and safely."

To install approved portable natural gas heaters and its accompanying hardware, restaurants must first have a license to operate a sidewalk café from DCA, and then must receive clearance from both the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) and the Fire Department (FDNY). Working together, DCA, DOB, and FDNY have created a simple FAQ document that walks restaurants through the approval process step-by-step, and ensuring all required plans and paperwork are in order, have committed to completing the application process in no more than 18 days.

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About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.