Thursday, July 23, 2020

One month on, a look at curbside dining in the East Village

[Gnocco, 10th Street]

We're one month into the city's Open Restaurants program — now in place through October — that allows for curbside dining.

Under an emergency program launched on June 22 as part of the Phase 2 reopening to aid the ailing restaurant industry, nearly 7,000 establishments citywide were authorized to serve food and drinks on sidewalks and curbside spaces.

It hasn't been easy. As previously reported, restaurateurs have had to scramble to stay ahead of the Department of Transportation's seemingly ever-changing guidelines for outdoor dining.

East Village spots such as Kindred, the Roost, Foxface and Il Posto Accanto were among the places that had to tear apart their previously OK'd curbside arrangements – within 24 hours and under the threat of losing their outdoor dining permit. (And we haven't even mentioned the fast-breaking thunderstorms and stifling heat that has added to the stress of the outdoor experience — for both staff and customers.)

Gov. Cuomo has also threatened to shut down bars and restaurants that allow patrons to congregate on sidewalks without social distancing and masks. "It's stupid what you're doing," he said on Monday.

As for the makeshift spaces, they are coming together, looking more comfortable by the day with the additions of paint, plants and patrons. Last week, freelance photographer Eric Leong documented the variety of outdoor dining structures in the East Village. "I enjoy seeing the creativity in designs," he said.

Here's a look at the spaces in action...

[Lavagna, 5th Street at B]

[Brazen Fox, 3rd Avenue at 12th Street]

[Maiden Lane, 10th and B]

[B-Side, Avenue B]

[9th Street at 3rd Avenue]

[Oh! Taisho, St. Mark's Place]

[St. Mark's Place]

[Kitchen Sink, 5th Street]

[Boilermaker, 4th Street]

[One and One, 1st Street at 1st Avenue]

[7B/Horseshoe Bar, 7th at B]

[Mary's O's, Avenue A]

[Amor y Amargo, 6th at A]

[TabeTomo, Avenue A]

[William Barnacle Tavern and Foxface, St. Mark's Place]

[Thursday Kitchen, 9th Street]

[Jeepney, 1st Avenue]

[3rd Avenue]

[Phebe's, the Bowery]

You can find more examples of outdoor dining at his website.


Neighbor said...

These all look great! They are all wonderful additions to the neighborhood that are so much better than parking. Hopefully this becomes a permanent feature and heat lamps are able to be installed for cooler months.

Anonymous said...

The news had a piece yesterday about a truck crashing into a sidewalk cafe that was placed in the street. Not sure where it occurred but it is bound to happen. You won't catch me sitting and eating two inches away from traffic whizzing by belching carbon monoxide as I try to breathe and eat at the same time.

Choresh Wald said...

I agree with every word neighbor said si I will just copy paste it here:
"These all look great! They are all wonderful additions to the neighborhood that are so much better than parking. Hopefully this becomes a permanent feature and heat lamps are able to be installed for cooler months."
This NEEDS to become permanent. Please make it happen Carlina Rivera!

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Mr Leong for documenting this unique chapter in our community.

The dining-in-the-street is not my thing, but I will continue to order takeout to support as many businesses as I can. It's obviously an extremely tough time to be in the bar/restaurant industry, especially for servers who must now operate under strange and sometimes dangerous circumstances. Remember to TIP WELL whether you're dining out or getting takeout.

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! to our EV restaurants and their can-do workers. I concur with the previous comments: when we emerge from the Covid era, the sidewalk spaces need to be become permanent. What a terrific use of space. Way to go, EV!

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed bravo to the restaurant workers and can't blame restaurants for doing their best with this in our broken system. However, when half your block is lined with these and there is in no way to properly distance from the maskless 20/30 year olds without walking into the street, it does seem nuts, particularly when considering elderly neighbors. Also heart breaking to see the homeless trying to panhandle at these and getting rebuffed by the super privileged. Perhaps a good followup for the photographer is to show the homeless encampments and hangouts on the same blocks as these restaurants?

Anonymous said...

It does get noisy and create problems and get in the way of transportation/walking/parking/biking, but it's a great solution for the time being and all we can do.

Anonymous said...

The street cleaning machines are never going to weave in and out between the cardoned off areas. The streets will remain filthy for a long time to come , not to mentioned more rats scrounging for crumbs in the seating areas. This is the down side of the well intentioned initiative

Anonymous said...

Eh, some of it's nice... but looking forward for when it's not needed. Too much noise and congestion and takes up too much road space.

Jose Garcia said...

The most balanced view I've read here is what Anonymous 23, 2020 at 10:09 AM said. We are thrilled to have our neighborhood businesses and their workers up and running in some fashion. Too many of these on one block does make it difficult to get by and there are still crowds of drunk 20 something's from out of the neighborhood failing to wear masks or maintain distance. And the difference between the haves and the have nots is perhaps as starkly visible as it was here in the late 80s/early 90s. so it's a mixed bag still as far as we can tell. xo, pk

Anonymous said...

We residents didn't ask to give up our sidewalks, parking spaces, and egress to our buildings. In some cases whole streets are now being made unusable to the residents and taxpayers. We're literally barricaded in. I wonder how the people who live above these places feel being exposed to the rising hot air of the drunks below. Where there are tents the air builds up nicely. At least the tourists can't visit - there is no place for them to park!

Lorcan Otway said...

The photograph of Historic 80 Saint Marks is miss-titled. The tavern licence is William Barnacle Tavern, whose kitchen is a concession called Fox Face. We love and treasure Fox Face and their reviews are stellar as are ours. We are fine with a hyphenated title when speaking of our food and drink combination. However, when speaking of the tavern as a single title entity the name is William Barnacle Tavern. Branding is important. I hope you may correct this to William Barnacle Tavern\Fox Face. As to the safety, we have stout wooden planters filled with dirt, and keep a boundary between the parked cars and our barriers. Many other cities have curb dining, for example it has been the tradition in Quebec for decades. As New York moves away from a car culture, it is a way of making sure historic parts of our city are not lost to the accommodations needed at this time. We at the tavern are part of the plan to keep alive a theater which has been a venue for 98 years, 57 years in my family. I hope people help by enjoying truly fine food and responsibly served drinks, but also demand to know why when Britain, France, Germany and Holland have put billions of dollars into preserving the arts through this time, NY State continues to demand full payment of property tax by cultural institutions shut down by government order. Thanks for the lovely photos and all the comments of concern. Lorcan Otway, owner and director of Historic 80 Saint Marks.


Loving these photos.

Choresh Wald said...

How does it get in the way? It utilizes street space that was used as car storage before.

Choresh Wald said...

The street cleaning machines have not been operating since mid March because Alternate Side parking was suspended and now it is down to once a week sometimes. As part of the terms the food establishments owners are in charge of cleaning the outdoor dining area: it is in their interest since nobody would like to seat in a smelly dirty area.

Choresh Wald said...

We residents, 80% of area households do not own vehicles so we never “had” those parking spots. You are aware of the fact that the businesses are tax payers.

Anonymous said...

I'm only so sympathetic to everyone who signed contracts gambling the debt economy would remain in place - well it is in place and this expropriation of public land and simple daily utility is the result. We only have to put up with it this year- 25% will survive over the winter doing takeout. None of the bars will survive. I just hope the ambulance realizes they have to park halfway down the block to get to our door now, if we're having a heart attack or stroke because the restaurants have barricaded the streets. The superintendents are not pleased and garbage is piling up behind buildings, another tax the residents have to incur, because it would offend the eater class, who apparently are equal, like the people who pay $100 to get through the TSA first.

Anonymous said...

@Choresh Wald: Businesses pay taxes, big deal; so do I and every other person living or working in NYC.

I don't "have" a parking spot (for the car I don't own), and now I ALSO don't have very much sidewalk space to walk on. I don't know how pedestrians came to be at the bottom of the whole ecosystem of NYC, but it's wrong that they get so little consideration.

Anonymous said...

I have a car... its 100% here for work. One of the upsides to this neighborhood is being able to park it and not have to pass parking costs o to my customers. I dont love the fact that there are so many fewer spaces now but I am glad businesses can at least try to make money. That said ill be sticking to take out. Drivers are going way faster with less congestion and these setups are far too close to vehicles. I also agree the street sweeping is fine at 1 day a week but I can guarantee we are about to have the once cannibalistic rats start acting like pigeons soon.

Anonymous said...

Love this, it gives NYC a more European feel, and should definitely be an every summer thing.

Anonymous said...

If only the general populace had half the resilience of these restaurant operators.

Anonymous said...

@8:43am: What's the appeal of "European feel"? Why do people need to keep comparing NYC with someplace else?

People keep saying NYC should be more like [fill in foreign city name here], when all NYC really needs to do is be itself!

And maybe some of those overseas cities should change to be more like NYC.

I love NYC as NYC!

Anonymous said...

Amen 12:15pm!

Anonymous said...

80% is an overstatement. Before Covid-19, all parking spots were filled with cars overnight and they for sure were not all outsiders spending nights here. Many residents have cars. Just because one lives in Manhattan doesn't mean we don't have cars to get around to other boroughs and states. Curbside dining is fine, but not when it occupies complete blocks.

Jess said...

Choresh - you have an obsession. It's not car "storage". It's the side of the road, and roads are used for transportation. The cars go there when they're not used for transportation.