New York City (NYC) Mayor Eric Adams has signed Intro. 31-C into law, which facilitates the creation of New York’s permanent outdoor dining programme called “Dining Out NYC”.

Dining Out NYC permanently expands outdoor dining to all five boroughs and is claimed to be the largest outdoor dining programme in the country.

For this programme, the Adams administration carried out negotiations with City Council for more than a year and gathered inputs from the restaurant industry and communities across the entire city.

“Dining Out NYC” builds on the temporary outdoor dining programme that was created during the Covid-19 pandemic that saved 100,000 jobs across the city.

Mayor Adams said: “Outdoor dining is here to stay, New York. New Yorkers were hungry for a cleaner, safer, healthier outdoor dining program, and we are delivering for them with Dining Out NYC.

“The temporary open restaurant program saved 100,000 jobs and kept our neighbourhoods vibrant — but too many abandoned sheds attracted rats and detracted from the beauty of our city.

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“Dining Out NYC locks in the best parts of outdoor dining and gets rid of the worst — for restaurants, for communities, and for diners alike. We’re going to bring New Yorkers the largest, best outdoor dining program in the country.”

The new law will see the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) working with partner agencies to develop a new set of proposed rules, which would outline the design requirements as well as siting, material, and operational guidance.

The proposed rules will enter the public review phase.

Once finalised in 2024, DOT will launch an online application portal where restaurants can begin applying for the permanent programme.

The new law will also create a fee structure for all the participating restaurants, with rates varying by location and setup size.

New York City DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez said: “Outdoor dining has made our streets more welcoming, vibrant, and joyful public spaces, and it is here to stay! Dining Out NYC builds upon the success of the temporary programme and makes improvements that will be enjoyed by all New Yorkers.

“I thank Mayor Eric Adams, Speaker Adrienne Adams, and Council Member Marjorie Velázquez for their leadership, and I look forward to working with interested restaurants on implementation.”