[Photo via @candbnyc]
We've heard from several frustrated restaurant owners in the neighborhood who abruptly had to change their curbside dining setups at the request of the city — despite following the city's instructions to the letter.
Pete Wells at the Times reported on the mixed messages courtesy of the city back on July 2.
Under an emergency program launched on June 22 to aid the ailing restaurant industry, some 6,800 establishments citywide were authorized to serve food and drinks on sidewalks and curbside spaces.
Inspections have continued this past week, and places such as Il Posto Accanto on Second Street have had to tear apart their solid and previously OK'd curbside dining arrangement – within 24 hours or risk losing their outdoor dining permit.
C&B Cafe on Seventh Street between Avenue A and Avenue B posted about their experiences on Instagram yesterday:
This is how the story goes. Three different city/state officials came the last four days to give us different information about how we should practice the outdoor dining. Also we have four different emails from DOT about the guidelines suggesting different ways of building the spaces.
As you can imagine it is time-consuming and expensive to constantly change/build based on new information we get. Since the city is not covering all those expenses and labor we decided to keep the outdoor space as [owner Ali Sahin's] garden. He is going to try and keep these wonderful plants alive for the rest of the summer and hopefully find a permanent home for them once this thing is over.
Sahin decided against fighting the bureaucracy any further as C&B is primarily a takeout space to begin with.
Previously on EV Grieve:
• A second look at Phase II dining in the East Village