Top 3 photos by Salim; additional reporting and photos by Stacie Joy
On Friday morning, more than a dozen Department of Sanitation and NYPD members closed the block of Third Street between Avenue B and Avenue C to dismantle Poco’s outdoor dining structures on the SE corner of Third and B...
... the view to the west from Avenue C...
Sources on the block said that Poco, known for their crowded boozy brunches, had accrued too many violations and did not have permits for their outdoor structures — one on Third Street and three huts attached to the restaurant's north-facing wall.
According to a local building superintendent, "they are very noisy; they make too much speaker noise."
A local resident on the block witnessed the dismantling: "DoS came with sawzalls and tore it down. They have been piling up violations since Covid. We called it the 'Covid Corner.'"
A Poco employee, who declined to give her name, said the owners decided to take down the structures. So why were the police and the Department of Sanitation there? "I don't know." The employee also said she didn't know if any citations were issued on the structures.
Here's how Poco looked after city workers left as staff members set up for Friday's brunch service...
The lack of outdoor dining structures didn't seem to dent Poco's brunch business on Saturday afternoon...
advertises its "legendary brunch," where $47 gets unlimited mimosas, Bloody Marys, red or white sangria, and an entrée. Thursday through Sunday nights, Poco offers a "Bottomless Dinner" — $65 per person plus tax and tip for two hours of unlimited well drinks, wine and/or beer.
The city recently began cracking down on repeat offenders and abandoned curbside-dining structures through the Open Restaurants program.
Having removed the initial 24 abandoned sheds, the task force has begun identifying and removing additional sheds, investigating another 37 sheds identified as egregious violators of Open Restaurants program guidelines, and reviewing complaints and summons data to identify and remove other abandoned sheds throughout the five boroughs. Sheds reported to be abandoned will be verified as abandoned two separate times before receiving a termination letter, followed by removal and disposal of the shed.
The task force will also review sheds that, while potentially active, are particularly egregious violators of Open Restaurants program guidelines. In these cases, sheds will be inspected three separate times before action is taken.
After each of the first two failed inspections, DOT will issue notices instructing the restaurant owner to correct the outstanding issues; after the third visit, DOT will issue a termination letter and allow 48 hours before issuing a removal notice. DOT will then remove the structure and store it for 90 days — if the owner does not reclaim it in that period, DOT will dispose of the structure.