A bill that passed on Tuesday will allow dogs in outdoor seating areas
The New York State legislature passed a bill allowing dogs to dine outdoors.
Good news for dog owners: You can take your furry friend to dine alfresco!
The New York State legislature passed a bill called “Dining with Dogs” on Tuesday, which permits dogs to sit with their owners in outdoor seating areas, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The bill advises that dogs must be on leashes and restaurant owners ultimately have the final say as to whether they will allow dogs in the restaurant.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who introduced the bill earlier this year, told The Wall Street Journal that the decision benefits more than just dog owners. “I think this is a win for dogs, because they don’t have to sit at home without their owners,” she said.
California, Florida, and Maryland have passed similar bills to allow dogs in restaurants. New York City might even get a dog café, now that one has opened in Los Angeles.
Maybe restaurants should start making menus exclusively for dogs (there is, after all, beer for dogs!).
BLM protesters scream ‘we don’t want you here’ at diners outside NYC restaurant
A mob of Black Lives Matter protesters were caught on camera harassing diners outside a family-owned Brooklyn taqueria — with dozens screaming at them to “stay the f–k outta New York.”
“We don’t want you here,” screamed a ringleader standing on a table as he led an angry call-and-response chant from his comrades who framed the outdoor dining area of Maya Taqueria in Prospect Heights.
“We don’t want your f—ing money! We don’t want your f—ing taqueria, owned by f—ing white men!” he screamed, with the mob repeating each line, as caught in video by The Post.
The business’ CEO, according to public records, is David Nasser, 50, who has said in previous interviews that he opened the eatery more than 10 years ago because he longed for the ubiquitous taquerias of his native San Francisco. He moved to Brooklyn in 2001.
Daniel Nasser, the restaurant’s operating partner according to his LinkedIn, has said that he spent many years perfecting the craft of Mexican-style cooking with his family.
In a recent video interview with ChowNow, Daniel explained how all of his staff relied on the restaurant, an 11-year “neighborhood staple,” to survive during the pandemic.
“We don’t want you here,” screamed a ringleader standing on a table next to the diners at Maya Taqueria in Prospect Heights. Paul Martinka
“There’s employees that need their paychecks on a weekly basis to support their families,” he said.
Neither responded to multiple requests for comment on Wednesday.
When asked about the video, a worker at Maya Taqueria told The Post, “We have nothing to say about that at all.” Staffers at the eatery’s second location in Park Slope also did not comment.
But locals and supporters of the restaurant quickly came to its defense online.
Daniel Nassar is listed as the owner of the Taqueria. Facebook
“I can assure you the people who own family-owned Maya Taqueria want them there, and their food is delicious,” Brooklyn Events tweeted.
A sea of protesters are seen in New York City following the Derek Chauvin verdict being announced. Paul Martinka
Another previous diner noted that the restaurant is “good as hell, inexpensive and really not the problem.”
Meanwhile, the protesters seemed confused over whether they wanted the restaurant and staff to close down — or get more cash.
Black Lives Matter marchers seen in Brooklyn after the Derek Chauvin verdict Paul Martinka
After first screaming “we don’t want your f—ing taqueria,” a woman in the group then shouts “tip 30 percent!” — with the rest of the crowd seeming to miss the irony by marching away down Vanderbilt Ave. chanting, “Tip 30 percent!”
The NYPD was not called to the incident.
Hundreds of people marched through Brooklyn late Tuesday to celebrate ex-cop Derek Chauvin’s conviction for murdering George Floyd, and to insist that the movement to press for change would continue. There were no arrests, the NYPD said.
Indoor Dining May Expand to 75 Percent Statewide Starting March 19 Except in NYC
New York restaurants outside of the five boroughs can expand indoor dining capacity to 75 percent starting March 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday. NYC restaurants, meanwhile, will continue to operate at 35 percent capacity indoors for now.
All of the same safety restrictions will remain in place for restaurants increasing their capacity outside of the city, and Cuomo didn’t rule out changing the mandate should cases rise again between now and March 19. The decision, meanwhile, will now have to be approved by the New York legislature after Cuomo was stripped of his emergency powers due to accusations of sexual harassment against the governor and his administration’s role in the nursing home scandal.
The announcement mirrors the trend seen throughout the pandemic. Restaurants outside the city operated for months at half capacity while those in the city were limited to 25 percent. State officials have continually cited NYC’s density, and the fact that it was initially the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., as reasons for reopening more gradually in the city. Cuomo did not indicate Sunday if or when NYC restaurants would be able to expand capacity. Eater has reached out to Cuomo’s office for more details.
This marks the first time restaurants in New York have been able to operate at 75 percent capacity indoors since the start of the pandemic-related restrictions in March 2020. The move comes on the heels of Connecticut governor Ned Lamont’s announcement last week that restaurants in that state would be able to operate at 100 percent capacity starting March 19.
The reopening announcements reflect a larger national trend of relaxed restrictions as COVID-19 cases continue to decline nationwide. Health experts have cautioned against this recent push for reopening, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, says the country should not relax restrictions until cases fall below 10,000 new cases on average per day. The number is currently hovering below 50,000. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing an increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths after states relaxed restrictions on indoor dining. The National Restaurant Association condemned the report, saying it didn’t take into account activities at other opened businesses.
In other news
— The New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov spoke with wine directors at restaurants across the city about what the future looks like for the industry.
— A car crash at the corner of East 50th Street and Second Avenue Friday morning left seven people injured, destroyed the outdoor dining structure of Crave Fishbar, and a fruit vendor stand. The vendor was able to reopen just a day later with the help of friends.
— A four-alarm fire that started in the basement of a Jackson Heights restaurant Prince Kebab & Chinese Restaurant, according to the FDNY, damaged several neighboring businesses last week. No civilians were hurt but six firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
— Another weekend, another illegal rave. The NYC sheriff’s office busted a warehouse party with 142 people drinking and dancing without their masks on early Saturday morning.
Best hot dogs in NYC
1. Katz’s Delicatessen
The iconic eats at this legendary Lower East Side deli counter have always been of the no-frills sort, from the hulking piles of peppery pastrami to the Swiss-and-sauerkraut rueben. The hot dog is no exception: The all-beef frankfurter is seasoned deeply with garlic, salt and paprika beneath its firm, lightly charred natural casing. A traditional topper of zesty golden mustard and tangy kraut adds some bright acidity inside a soft, humble split bun.
2. Nathan’s Famous
Tourists and tube-steak zealots make the trek to this Brooklyn landmark for a taste of hot-dog history. Established in 1916, the former 5¢ stand still does a roaring trade. The bun is flimsy, but in the end, it&rsquos just a vehicle for the chain-spawning wiener, which has a tight casing that gives way to a juicy interior.
3. Feltman’s Kitchen
Nathan&rsquos Famous may have the brand-name recognition but Feltman's has the historical bona fides: German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog in Coney Island back in 1867, nearly 50 years before its Surf Avenue rival. Get the snappy tubers loaded with sauerkraut, mustard and onions chili and cheddar cheese sausage gravy and even vodka sauce and grated Parmesan.
4. Crif Dogs
The stoner-friendly offerings at Crif Dogs include this perennial top-seller, featuring a bacon-wrapped dog, chili, coleslaw and pickled jalapeños. The crunch of deep-fried bacon gives way to a soft interior, and the mild chili sauce soaks into the bun, giving each bite an extra hit of meaty flavor.
5. The Cannibal
The beer-loving Brooklyn butchers know their way around, ahem, meat, a fact proven in their carne-heavy menu of house-made charcuterie, terrines and, yes, hot dogs. The house tube steaks arrive as a pair and are served &ldquotiger style&rdquo: the all-beef franks are topped with spicy tripe chili, a scattering of scallions and plenty of Chinese mustard on a squishy bun. You&rsquore lucky they come in twos, because you&rsquoll seriously want another one.
6. The NoMad Bar
Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek&mdashthe James Beard Award&ndashwinning trio behind neighborhood stunners Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad&mdashexpanded the latter to include this elegant saloon inside the NoMad hotel, teeming with lofty pub grub like a bacon-wrapped hot dog festooned with black truffles.
7. Ditch Plains
A pair of classic comfort foods&mdashhot dogs and mac and cheese&mdashjoin forces to create this tasty monstrosity. Each order comes with two Sabrett dogs tucked into potato rolls and covered by a generous helping of mac and cheese, made with a gooey blend of Parmesan, Gruyère and American cheeses. The whole thing&rsquos served atop a mound of fries.
8. Mile End Deli
This nouveau Jewish deli is best known for bringing Montreal-style smoked meat to the city, but it also makes its mark on a New York classic with its from-scratch hot dog. The griddled all-beef frank and the tangy sauerkraut are made in-house, while the thick, poppy-seed-studded bun is courtesy of Hot Bread Kitchen. Weekday lunchers can get the dog solo at night, it comes with pickle relish.
9. White Gold Butchers
A laser focus on quality ingredients is no surprise when it comes to Bloomfield, but the Michelin-starred chef takes it to a new level with White Gold Butchers, her Upper West Side meat market&ndashslash&ndashall-day restaurant with star butchers Erika Nakamura (L.A.&rsquos Lindy & Grundy) and Jocelyn Guest (Dickson&rsquos Farmstand), who break down whole animals and churn coils of sausage, like a hot dog dressed with plucky kimchi and mayo.
Phillip Kirschen-Clark (formerly of Vandaag) is the latest boldfaced-name toque to make his mark on this cocktail den's haute-dog menu. His Scandinavian-inflected creation is built around an all-beef wiener that's been pickled in apple cider vinegar. The tangy frank is balanced by coriander-scented sauerkraut, mustard greens and piccalilli (an English-style relish).
At this Colombian cocina, dig into one of the towering hot dogs smothered until invisible beneath crushed potato chips, crispy bacon, fresh carrot-cabbage slaw, crumbled costeño cheese, pineapple sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, and salsa rosada &mdash plus the crowning jewel: a skewered, hard-boiled quail egg. Wash it all down with a drink even more gluttonous, the crushed-ice and condensed milk cholado bobbing with fresh tropical fruits and showered in grated coconut.
12. Dickson’s Farmstand Meats
Jacob Dickson is selling meats sourced from small local farms at his first retail shop, in the Chelsea Market. In addition to beef, pork, lamb and poultry, visitors can purchase house-made charcuterie, fresh hot dogs and cured meats.
Jonah Miller&rsquos tapas tavern debuts off-the-menu Spanish-style franks and horchata slushies from the takeout window. Zesty house-made chistorra sausages come smothered with aioli and piquillo mustard between a soft Martin&rsquos potato roll.
14. Schaller’s Stube
In a former meat fridge next to Schaller & Weber &rsquo s Yorkville flagship, supplying uptowners with German meats and charcuterie since 1937, lies this 10-seat sausage offshoot, helmed by third-generation wurst maker Jeremy Schaller. The streetside counter issues out brioche sandwiches stuffed with house-made tubers, fried chicken and Schaller&rsquos seven signature wursts, including a Nürnberg brat spiced with marjoram and caraway.
15. The Smoke Joint
The all-Angus hot dog at this Brooklyn barbecue is deep-fried, grilled and stuffed into a toasted bun slick with drawn butter. Swine lovers take it to the next level with a topping of pulled pork butt that&rsquos been smoked for 12 hours over ample and hickory.
16. Shake Shack
Danny Meyer's fast-food joint brings Gothamites a taste of the Midwest with this Chicago-style snack. The Vienna beef dog is split and griddled on a flattop, then nestled in a pillowy potato bun. It comes fully loaded with toppings, such as pickled green sport peppers and relish from Lower East Side pickle-maker Rick&rsquos Picks.
17. Kings of Kobe
This all-American beef frank operation pays homage to traditional iterations of the nation&rsquos classic dish. A snappy, six-inch Kobe dog is crowned with sweet onion marmalade, tart sauerkraut and a spicy swirl of yellow mustard.
Alphabet City pretzel masters pair their doughy creations with franks from venerable UES butchers Schaller & Weber in this double duo of dogs. The Chicago Dog smears pepper-onion relish on tomato in a poppy-seed roll, while the Classic comes dressed with tangy, spiced kraut and mustard.
19. Old Town Bar & Restaurant
The unfussy specimens at this venerable tavern still hold their own against the city's artisanal upstarts. Get the chili dog: A grilled and scored all-beef Sabrett is deposited on a butter-toasted bun along with spicy homemade beef-and-red-kidney-bean chili, diced onions and shredded cheddar, as well as a side of fries.
20. La Perrada de Chalo
This Colombian joint turns out Latin American&ndashstyle hot dogs with toppings like diced pineapple, egg, and even blackberry. Our favorite is the zesty Mexicano, loaded with salsa verde, melted cheese, crushed potato chips and squiggles of ketchup, mustard and spicy mayo.
21. Gray’s Papaya
This mini-chain has long ruled the area&rsquos tropical-drink-and-hot-dog market, with crispy-skinned all-beef Sabretts for a price that can't be beat.
Vegans in the know get their soybean dogs at Westville, where the grilled faux franks pack a serious hit of smoke and spice. Order a single, or ante up for the special: two dogs with thick-cut pickle chips, fries, salad or one of the eatery's seasonally driven sides, like sautéed kale with shallots.
23. Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing
A recent newcomer to the city&rsquos infamous deli scene, this family-run Greenpoint spot specializes in all sorts of appetizing-store throwbacks, from smoked fish to matzo-ball soup. Hot dog lovers can appreciate the shop&rsquos freshly griddled Brooklyn Hot Dog Company franks, which are long, skinny and generously loaded with sauerkraut. Grab a pair as a daily &ldquorecession special&rdquo available with a can of soda for seven bucks.
24. Rusty Knot
This Hudson River&ndashhugging nautical &ldquodive bar&rdquo is a confusing but successful high-low hybrid, as seen in the elaborate tiki cocktails devised by Milk & Honey vet Toby Maloney and the addictive pretzel-wrapped hot dog, a perfect spiral of golden dough and flake salt that you'll be hard-pressed to resist peeling part and eating separately. Instead, dunk that divine helix in mustard and wash it down with a happy hour brew.
25. Brooklyn Diner
You may need a friend to help you tackle this eye-catching behemoth. The oversize all-beef frank&mdashit measures a whopping 15 inches&mdashis griddled on the flattop and stuffed inside a massive bun, which you can pile high with sides of handcut fries and homemade juniper slaw.
Restaurant Laws for Service Dogs in all 50 States
- Alabama: Under Alabama law, a service animal is any dog that is individually trained to perform tasks or do work for the benefit of a person with a disability (source).
- Alaska: The ADA and Alaska law both prohibit public accommodations from charging a special admission fee or requiring you to pay any other extra cost to have your service animal with you. However, you may have to pay for any damage your animal causes (source).
- Arizona: In Arizona, only dogs and horses can be service animals and are not considered pets (source).
- Arkansas: In Arkansas individuals who have service animals that help them with psychiatric or mental disabilities are not protected under the law (source).
- California: California allows people with disabilities to bring trained service dogs and psychiatric service dogs but not emotional support animals to all public space (source).
- Colorado: In Colorado business owners are allowed to ask two questions regarding service animals: (1) is the dog required because of your disability? and (2) what task does it perform? (source)
- Connecticut: Connecticut does not have any laws in place on falsely claiming that a dog is a service dog (source).
- Delaware: Delaware state law does not cover service animals that help individuals with mental disabilities, such as psychiatric service animals (source).
- Florida: In Florida service dogs and miniature horses are the only animals covered by law to access public accommodations, but with housing this limit does not apply (source).
- Georgia: In Georgia people with physical disability are allowed to bring a service dog into public accommodations, implying that psychiatric service dogs are not always covered by Georgia state law (source).
- Hawaii: In Hawaii, a service dog must be permitted to accompany the individual to all areas of your facility where the public is normally able to go unless health and safety may be compromised in those areas. Individuals with service dogs can not be segregated from other people (source).
- Idaho: Idaho laws are more restrictive than ADA laws as they only cover animals that assist with physical disabilities and not those that assist with mental disabilities. Public places must follow both ADA and Idaho laws though (source).
- Illinois: Under Illinois law, owners must accommodate for service animals but do not have to for emotional support animals (source).
- Indiana: Under Indiana law, a service animal is trained as a guide, hearing, assistance, psychiatric assistance, mobility, seizure alert, or an autism service animal, emotional support animals are not covered (source).
- Iowa: In Iowa individuals with fake service dogs can face criminal charges (source).
- Kansas: Kansas state laws apply to dogs that are classifies as “assistance dogs”, i.e. guide dogs, hearing assistance dogs, and service dogs (source).
- Kentucky: Kentucky state law requires that all public accommodations to allow people with disabilities who are accompanied by assistance dogs, but does not further define “assistance dogs” (source).
- Louisiana: Louisiana defines public accommodations as streets, sidewalks, highways and walkways, public buildings and facilities, all public transportation and common carriers, schools, hotels, restaurants, theaters, places of public amusement, accommodation, or resort, and any other place which the general public is invited (source).
- Maine: A service animal in Maine is defined as a “dog that is individually trained to do work or tasks to benefit someone with a disability, including an intellectual, mental, psychiatric, sensory, or physical disability” (source).
- Maryland: Maryland’s service animal laws apply to guide dogs, signal dogs, and other animals that are trained to perform tasks for individuals with disabilities (source).
- Massachusetts: In Massachusetts the law defines service animals as specifically just dogs (source).
- Michigan: Although mandatory registration of service animals is not allowed under ADA, Michigan has a volunteer registration program where owners can get a state issued identification card and patch (source).
- Minnesota: In Minnesota service animals are defined as dogs but the state also accepts miniature horses as service animals due to ADA guidelines (source).
- Mississippi: Mississippi’s Support Animal Act defines a service animal as a dog or other animal that is specifically trained as a guide, leader, listener, or to provide any other assistance necessary to assist a blind, hearing-impaired, or mobility-impaired person in day-to-day activities (source).
- Missouri: Under Missouri law people are allowed to bring service dogs into public places, but also due to ADA they have to accommodate other service animals (source).
- Montana: Montana law does not limit service animals to being just dogs but any animal that performs a task or service to someone with a disability or is in training to do so (source).
- Nebraska: Nebraska law only covers animals that assist with physical disabilities and not those that assist with mental disabilities (source).
- Nevada: Nevada law defines service animals as dogs or miniature horses that have been trained to do work or perform a task that benefits a person with a disability (source).
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire defines a service animal as a dog but has to accommodate for other service animals such as miniature horses under ADA (source).
- New Jersey: New Jersey law requires public accommodations to allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by a service dog or guide dog (source).
- New Mexico: Under New Mexico law public accommodations must allow you to be accompanied by your “qualified service animal” (source).
- New York: New York qualifies a service animal as guide dogs, service dogs, and hearing dogs (source).
- North Carolina: North Carolina does not define service animals in their law (source).
- North Dakota: North Dakota’s service animal laws are very broad to include any kinds of trained animals (source).
- Ohio: Ohio has two separate laws on service animals and public accommodations and both describe which animals qualify for protection differently (source).
- Oklahoma: In Oklahoma a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained and are allowed to enter all public accommodations (source).
- Oregon: In Oregon the term “assistance animals” is used instead of service animals (source).
- Pennsylvania: In Pennsylvania there is a criminal statute that protects people with disabilities from discrimination in public accommodations for using a guide or support animal (source).
- Rhode Island: Under RI law you can be accompanied by your personal assistance animal, which is a dog, that has been trained as a guide, hearing, or service dog (source).
- South Carolina: South Carolina’s law does not define the term “assistance dogs” but it gives “handicapped” people the right to bring them to public accommodations (source).
- South Dakota: South Dakota’s law does not define what kind of animal qualifies but says that anyone who is physically disabled be allowed to bring their animal into public accommodations (source).
- Tennessee: Tennessee law does not use the term service animals but it uses the term “guide dogs” (source).
- Texas: has a specific list of disabilities that qualify for a service animal including, but not limited to, deafness, visual impairment, etc.
- Utah: Under Utah law a service animal is considered a do that has been trained and performs a task for its owner (source).
- Vermont: In Vermont the law does not define service animals (source).
- Virginia: Virginia disability law requires public places to allow guide dogs, hearing dogs, and service dogs (source).
- Washington: Washington law gives a very broad definition of public accommodation allowing service animals to go almost anywhere within the state (source).
- West Virginia: West Virginia’s White Cane Law defines a service animal as a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to perform work or tasks for someone with a physical or mental disability (source).
- Wisconsin: In Wisconsin, private, nonprofit clubs that serve only members and their invited guests or the club’s own guests are not covered by state service animal law (source).
- Wyoming: Wyoming uses the same law as ADA (source).
The bottom line is while a service animal is out in public with its handler, it is on the clock.
Indeed, New York City eateries have suffered the brunt of the governor’s restrictions. Indoor dining restrictions in most other parts of the state were lifted more quickly, and those restaurants have been able to operate at double the capacity allowed in the city.
The industry had hoped that the state would allow restaurants in the city to stay open until midnight, but state officials were adhering to the statewide closing time of 10 p.m.
The governor’s decision comes at an incredibly precarious phase in the state’s battle against the virus, which has killed more than 42,500 people in New York State, the one-time epicenter of the pandemic.
While the state’s hospitalization and positivity rates have begun to trend downward after a post-holidays spike, more than 150 people have died each day this week and more than 8,350 remain hospitalized, a level not seen since early May.
The state’s vaccine rollout has been sluggish, due in part to limited doses from the federal government only 6 percent of New York’s population has been vaccinated so far. More than 40 cases of the more contagious British variant have also been detected statewide.
In New York City, the number of cases has steadily decreased after a recent peak in early January, but more than 30 ZIP codes are grappling with a seven-day average positive test rate of more than 10 percent. While the positivity rate in Manhattan is at 4.41 percent — well below the citywide seven-day average of 8.63 percent — other boroughs are still struggling with an alarming frequency of cases. In the Bronx, the rate has hovered around 10 percent, according to city data.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday that he had spoken to the governor several times in recent days about indoor dining. The mayor expressed concern with new variants and the vaccine supply, but said he understood that restaurants were trying to stay afloat.
“The whole idea here is to try to strike the right balance, and I know the governor is trying to do it,” the mayor said shortly before Mr. Cuomo’s announcement.
The governor also said on Friday that he would issue guidance to allow large marriage ceremonies with strict measures in place to take place starting March 15. Wedding events would need to be approved by local health departments, guests would need to be tested, and capacity at venues would be capped at 50 percent, or up to 150 people.
Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, has made reopening the economy a tenet of his agenda in 2021, a delicate balancing act that requires weighing public health against the urgent need to resuscitate the economy and raise much-needed tax revenue.
Earlier this month, he announced a budget proposal for $50 million in tax credits for the restaurant industry, which has often been frustrated by changing rules and guidance from the state.
On Wednesday, the governor lifted a range of lesser restrictions — including four-person-at-a-table rules and some limits on indoor dining — in dozens of regions upstate where rising rates had caused concern late last year. But he had delayed a decision on New York City’s restaurants, which provide billions in economic activity and more than 100,000 jobs, citing the city’s density.
There is, of course, no guarantee that cases will continue to trend downward, but Mr. Cuomo said he had to “deal with the facts that you know,” adding that, “if you are to anticipate possibilities and do nothing, you would be frozen in place, forever.”
Bernard Collin, the general manager of La Goulue, a French restaurant on the Upper East Side, was thankful for the situation’s fluidity.
“I’ve been, for the past two hours, scrambling to change our floor plans and change our online reservation platform to include the 25 percent capacity,” Mr. Collin said, adding that the restaurant would have to buy more food for its previously sold-out prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu.
Indoor dining would allow the restaurant to seat 44 people in addition to the 28 it can serve outside. That is still down from the establishment’s maximum capacity of 180 people before the pandemic.
“It’s a shot in the arm, and it’s definitely going to help us tremendously,” Mr. Collin added. “I sent a group text to the staff earlier that we’ll be able to see familiar faces soon again.”
The 11 Best New Burgers In NYC
“Much like the city’s vegetation right now, Dacha is in full bloom. What started as an Eastern European pop-up out of a Bed-Stuy apartment has now become a Russian-style “Banya Brunch” takeout series inside the former MeMe’s Diner space in Prospect Heights. The married queer couple running the show are both chefs who worked at places like Red Hook Tavern and Rezdora before the pandemic hit. Now, the duo is responsible for making plump pork pelmeni, hazelnut-mocha kievsky, and a new take on piroshki filled with American breakfast staples like eggs, potatoes, and bacon every weekend. All of the fresh-baked, soft, and savory dishes I picked up last Sunday were downright impossible to put down, and I am currently drafting on a strongly worded email urging the Dacha team to fully flower into a permanent restaurant.”
“One silver lining of the pandemic: incredibly unique outdoor dining spaces, comprised of bubble tables, lean-tos, tents, and yurts. Chikarashi Isso - the upscale Japanese restaurant from the people behind fast-casual poke spot Chikarashi - has an outdoor dining setup that’s on another level entirely: a 10-seat chef’s counter inside a heated open cabin, currently located on the quiet second-floor terrace of Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown. The meal is a 13-course yakitori omakase, grilled over Binchotan charcoal, right in front of you. And while the menu highlights seasonal ingredients, the dish I’m still thinking about is a chicken breast skewer that’s easily the best bite of chicken breast I have ever eaten. If you have a special occasion coming up, this would make for a great date spot, and there’s also a section of the cabin designed for small group dinners.”
“Like me, Chef Wylie Dufresne spent the last year baking an inordinate amount of bread products at home. But after I tried the pizza at the new pop-up from the former chef and owner of WD-50, Alder, and Du’s Doughnuts, my own under-proofed carbs seemed a lot sadder by comparison. At Stretch Pizza (operating out of Breads Bakery), the thin-crusted and modestly sauced 12-inch pies mimic a true New York slice - inexplicably floppy middle, crispy-puffy crust, and all. They’re available in four different varieties, including a classic cheese, a delicate Everything Bagel pizza with a thin layer of cream cheese and mozzarella, and a spicy romesco pie topped with grilled ramps. The only non-pizza item is a breakfast calzone, which also shouldn’t be ignored. It’s stuffed with piping hot scrambled eggs, creamy muenster and american cheeses, and scallions. You can preorder your pizza online ahead of time here, exclusively for pickup at Breads Bakery by Union Square. To no one’s surprise, there’s already a waitlist. Hop on it.”
Chef Katsu Brooklyn
Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout and delivery
“When I lived in Clinton Hill in 2019, I would have done unspeakable things for a spot like Chef Katsu Club. The newest Japanese restaurant in the area serves the kind of excellent pork and chicken katsu that makes me want to say “F*ck it, I’m getting takeout!” in the middle of a garbage week. The specialty here is katsu burgers stacked high with crispy chicken cutlets and topped with creamy mayo and housemade tartar or curry sauce. If you’d rather have katsu comfort in the form of a rice bowl, they’ve got those too - I recently paired one with their brioche donut sandwich filled with azuki bean paste and green tea ice cream and felt an instant rush of dopamine. And while the food is the primary reason you should eat here, the love story behind this new katsu restaurant in Clinton Hill is a strong second.”
Open for indoor dining, outdoor dining, takeout and delivery
“For anyone wondering what’s cool in Manhattan right now, here’s our update: go to Dr. Clark in Chinatown. This Japanese restaurant - located in the home of former Cool Spots like Lalito and divey karaoke bar Winnie’s - focuses on Hokkaido specialties that go nicely with shochu sour cocktails and natural wine. Build your meal around their thinly-sliced, marinated lamb jingisukan, which is grilled tableside and served with a mixture of crunchy marinated onions and bean sprouts. We’d recommend bringing a small group and supplementing the lamb with fresh seafood, like some chewy squid stuffed with uni-laced rice and a bowl of kaisen featuring assorted salmon and tuna sashimi, roe, cucumber, radish, uni, and steamed egg. Beyond the excellent Hokkaido meat and seafood, part of Dr. Clark’s charm is that you get to eat beneath a sparkling disco ball on Bayard Street, surrounded by half-a-dozen Dimes Square denizens and someone who possibly starred on an HBO show in 2012.”
Open for outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery
After a pandemic hiatus, Va Da has reopened in its original location on Avenue B in the East Village - and I am so happy it’s back. Sitting outside in the tented parklet is the perfect setting for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a year while making your way through a variety of regional Vietnamese dishes. I’d highly recommend you take advantage of their current set menu for two, which includes the Hue sampler (two different types of dumplings and one of my favorite dishes, the banh beo), plus your choice of two mid-course dishes - like a grilled eggplant salad, or the extremely delicious pho short rib grilled cheese - and one entree (we went with the turmeric branzino). The set menu is priced reasonably at $35 per person, and makes ordering with a third-tier friend about as easy as it gets.
Open for indoor dining and outdoor dining
“When you think of visiting an NYC food hall, do you imagine yourself sitting on a covered patio, gnawing on a smoky lamb rib served in a tin-can grill? What about the idea of soaking up green-chile-laced dal with buttery chapati in between sips of gin, ginger liqueur, and betel leaf swirled together in a martini glass? No? Then you haven’t been to Dhamaka yet. This new Essex Market restaurant is from the chefs behind two of our favorite Indian restaurants in the city, Rahi and Adda, but the menu differs from those other spots. Dhamaka instead focuses on regional specialties you may not have seen elsewhere in New York City (the website says, “This is the other side of India, the forgotten side of India”). Try their version of chicken masala pulao served directly in a pressure cooker, or the tender lamb kidneys and testicles in a fragrant onion-tomato stew and pao shimmering with ghee on the side, and finish your meal with a rich, souffle-like chhena poda for dessert. After you eat Dhamaka’s food, your perception of NYC’s food halls - and the city’s range of Indian cuisine - will change. Plan ahead and make a reservation here for your next big night out, because it’s starting to get busy.”
NYC Restaurant Reopening Guide
Select a topic below for information to help you and your business, including tips to stay safe and prevent the spread of germs.
As of 5/17, the curfew for catered events where attendees have proof of vaccination status or negative COVID-19 test result AND for private outdoor dining areas have been lifted. Note: The midnight curfew for Open Restaurants sidewalk and roadway seating are still in effect.
As of 5/19, in accordance to New York State's summary guidance on mask wearing and social distancing, businesses may allow fully vaccinated individuals to not wear face coverings or socially distance, with proof of vaccination by paper form, digital application, the State's Excelsior Pass, or self-reporting (e.g. honor system).
As of 5/19, indoor dining capacity has been lifted New York City.
Beginning 5/31, the curfew for indoor dining and all catered events will be lifted.
Updated guidelines and rules for dining operations have been developed by New York State and must be followed throughout the reopening phases. These include guidelines for physical distancing, cleaning and disinfection, communication, and screening.
These guidelines and requirements may change, so please check the New York Forward site regularly for specific phase instructions.
You can also visit nycsmallbizcourses.eventbrite.com and search "Reopening Guidelines" to sign up for an upcoming webinar to learn about State requirements, recommendations, and resources available to help businesses reopen in NYC.
What Operators Must Do Before Reopening
- Read all of the New York State guidelines for the appropriate phase:
Summary of Guidelines for Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services
Summary of Guidelines for Indoor Food Services
- Fill out the affirmation form:
Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services
Read and Affirm Detailed Guidelines for Indoor Food Service
Once you have finished reading the guidance, make sure to open the link at the bottom of the document to digitally affirm that you read and understand the guidance.
- Develop a Safety Plan and keep a copy of it on site:
Resources - Reopening
Health and Safety
Remember the four key actions all New Yorkers should take to prevent COVID-19 transmission:
- Stay home if sick: unless you are leaving for essential medical care (including testing) or other essential errands.
- Physical distancing: Stay at least six feet away from other people.
- Wear a face covering: Protect those around you. You can be contagious without symptoms and spread the disease when you cough, sneeze or talk. A face covering may help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Practice healthy hand hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Clean frequently touched surfaces regularly. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands, and cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve, not your hands.
Call the Health Department right away at 866-692-3641 with any questions or to report a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Physical Distancing and Face Coverings
These guidelines, and other health and safety protocols, apply to all areas of your operation, including any outdoor dining areas.
- Give workers free face coverings and provide replacements. Workers must stay at least six feet from others and wear a face covering if they are less than six feet from others. If you are a small business looking to secure free face coverings for your employees, find a distribution partner located near you.
- Customers should wear a face covering whenever they may be within six feet of another person. A business may set stricter rules for customers about wearing face coverings, including refusing service for those not wearing face coverings.
- To help your business reopen safely, the City has compiled this directory of local and national manufacturers and suppliers of non-medical PPE and other supplies for COVID-19 related workplace modifications. (These companies are not endorsed by the City of New York.)
Resources - Health and Safety
Other Languages: Español | 繁體中文 | 简体中文 | Русский | Kreyòl ayisyen | 한국어 | বাংলা | Italiano | Polski | ײִדיש | العربية | Français | اردو
A sample log of how businesses can show they are complying with the requirements to clean and disinfect daily
A sample of how to screen employees before they can enter the workplace each day
A sample of how businesses can document their daily health screening assessments
Find community testing sites
Guidance for Outdoor Dining
Currently, NYC restaurants can open for table service in outdoor areas. &ldquoOutdoor space&rdquo is an open-air space without a fixed roof. Outdoor spaces may include public sidewalks, curb lanes or other approved areas, and outdoor private areas on premises.
Enclosures with a temporary or fixed cover (i.e. awning, roof, or tent) must have at least two open sides for airflow to be considered "outdoor space". If three (3) side walls or more are in use, it will be considered indoor dining and may not currently be in use. Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation.
Restaurants with access to privately owned outdoor space may open in this space, as long as following the appropriate NYS and NYC health guidance and NYC DOB Guidelines.
Guidance for Use of Heating Devices
The NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) released additional guidance regarding the use of heating elements to winterize outdoor dining setups.
Participants in the Open Restaurants program interested in providing comfort heating for their customers in outdoor dining areas have three options:
- Electric radiant heaters will be allowed in sidewalk and roadway seating setups. Full electric radiant heaters guidance from DOB here.
- Natural gas radiant heaters will be allowed on the sidewalk only. Full natural gas radiant heaters guidance from DOB here. Natural gas radiant heaters must also comply with the Fire Code.
- Portable heaters fueled by propane will be allowed on the sidewalk only. Propane heating will be regulated by the Fire Department (FDNY), with requirements for safe handling, use and storage. Full propane-fueled portable heating guidance from FDNY here.
- Portable propane heating equipment must be removed no later than May 31, the end of NYC heat season.
Food service establishments with private outdoor dining spaces may use heating devices subject to the applicable guidance from FDNY and/or DOB.
Open Restaurants Program
Establishments seeking permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway should apply for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT)'s Open Restaurants Program.
Note: This application is only for establishments seeking permissions to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway. You do not need to apply if you are looking to place outdoor seating on private property. You must complete an application and certify even if you already have a NYC sidewalk cafe license.
For help completing the application, please call the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) hotline: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692).
On September 25, 2020, NYC announced that the popular Open Restaurants program will be made permanent. The program, currently under development, will continue to allow food service establishments with business frontage on the ground floor and licensed by the NYC Dept. of Health to utilize sidewalk and roadway area for outdoor seating.
*Important: These adjustments were required by December 15, 2020
Sandbags, reflector tape, snow sticks, and plastic barriers were made available to all participants, free of charge. Participating restaurants were emailed with distribution and pickup detail. Limited deliveries of plastic barriers were made to the "high priority" restaurants those restaurants have all been contacted separately.
- All 18" roadway barriers must be completely filled with soil or sand
- Barriers must have a fully built interior wall and bottom to hold filler material
- Continuous reflector tape must be added along the top outside edges, and snow sticks must be added to the corners of the two barriers facing traffic
- Diners may not sit in roadway setups. Tables and chairs in roadway must be removed or secured.
- All electrical heaters in roadway setups must be removed
- At minimum, regularly remove snow from overhead coverings until the snow alert ends.
Please continue to watch for emails from us (sign up here) as more information will be shared.
For questions about the Open Restaurants program, self-certification process, or translation assistance with the application, please contact DOT online.
NYC is temporarily expanding outdoor seating options for food establishments. The program is expanding seating options for restaurants on select restaurant corridors citywide by temporarily closing streets to traffic to create outdoor dining space. Community-based organizations, BIDs and restaurant groups applying through a single entity may apply for Open Streets: Restaurants online.
Open Restaurants Accessibility Requirements
As NYC re-opens post-COVID19 and restaurants expand outdoor seating to accommodate social distancing, we cannot forget about accessibility. This information lays out the requirements for maintaining physical accessibility for outdoor dining.
Virtual Compliance Consultations: Open Restaurants Program
The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) offers one-on-one free virtual compliance consultations to help you understand how to comply with key City rules. Our virtual consultations will help you understand key City rules and common compliance challenges related to the Open Restaurants Program - we will not issue violations or fines.
Business owners are encouraged to request a consultation if they:
- Have recently applied to Open Restaurants and are getting to ready to provide food service
- Are actively participating in Open Restaurants but continue to have questions/concerns
- Are interested in applying to Open Restaurants but have not yet done so
The Open Storefronts program assists existing ground-floor storefront businesses who want to use outdoor areas on a temporary basis. The program allows eligible businesses to conduct activity on sidewalks, on roadways (only in the Open Streets: Restaurants program), or a combination of both. The program has been extended through September 30th, 2021 and now allows businesses to sell pre-packaged food on sidewalks and restaurants to use sidewalks for take-out orders.
For a list of eligible retail activities and detailed siting criteria, visit nyc.gov/openstorefront.
Next Steps: Businesses that self-certified will receive an email from the City authorizing outdoor retail on the City's sidewalk and/or roadway in front of the establishment, in accordance with all applicable terms and conditions, laws and guidance. Businesses should print and prominently display their Open Storefronts email confirmation.
Resources - Outdoor Dining
Guidance for Indoor Dining
Restaurants and other food service establishments were allowed to reopen for indoor dining starting on February 12. They are subject to rigorous inspection protocols and strict occupancy limits. Some requirements include:
- Make sure that seating in your indoor dining space does not exceed 25% maximum capacity
- Check the temperature of every customer at the front door
- Collect contact information from at least one customer in each party
- Close bar tops for seating or serving
- Offer COVID-19 protections like PPE for employees, make sure that employees are wearing face coverings at all times, and remind customers to wear face coverings when not eating or drinking
- Place tables so that there is at least six feet between each dining party
Catered Private Events
New York State has increased the maximum size of in-person and catered private events from 50 people to 150 people.
A venue operator hosting an indoor event with more than 100 attendees, or outdoor event with more than 200 attendees, must notify the NYC Health Department at least five days prior by submitting an In-Person and Catered Event Notification Form.
For more details on New York State requirements, see page 7 of the NYS Interim Guidance for Food Services During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PDF).
Resources - Indoor Dining
NYS Guidance for Businesses Selling or Serving Alcohol
On June 18, Governor Cuomo amended Executive Order 202.43 (EO) to include updated guidance for food and beverage establishments effective immediately.
Under the amended Executive Order 202.43, businesses selling or serving alcohol to be consumed at the business or elsewhere must ensure that everyone within 100 feet of their business is:
- In compliance with open-container, social-distancing, and face-covering rules and
- Following all existing rules, regulations, and laws.
Violations could result in having a license suspended or revoked, with fines up to $10,000 per violation.
Patrons can also be fined for breaking open container or social distancing rules.
Additionally, as part of the "Three Strikes and You're Closed" initiative, any establishment that receives three violations will be shut down. Outdoor dining is for just that: outdoor dining. New York State does not approve outdoor bars where you set up tables for people to place drinks and then have a block party of 100 people mingling outside. Citizens can report violations to the NYS Liquor Authority.
NYS Liquor Authority (SLA) Guidance on Outdoor Expansion of Licensed Premises in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak
Read SLA guidance and FAQs about on-premise licenses in relation to outdoor dining and "to-go" alcoholic beverages here.
Posters and Flyers
Download and print to hang in your place of business with information for employees and customers. If you would like to order copies of these posters and flyers by mail, call 311.
Dr. Fauci Just Said This Is the Only Safe Way to Eat at a Restaurant
The top infectious disease expert says you should only dine indoors if this one rule is being followed.
For many of us, one of the most difficult adjustments throughout the pandemic has been the loss of beloved local restaurants, diners, and cafés to temporary closures in the name of public health and safety. And while health experts agree that outdoor dining is much less risky than eating inside at a restaurant, some cities such as New York have recently announced they will slowly begin to reopen indoor dining as cold winter weather has made patios and sidewalk seating too frigid to bear. But according to Anthony Fauci, MD, White House chief COVID adviser, there's only one way to stay safe while dining indoors. Read on to see what staying safe while eating inside looks like, and for more places you need to avoid, check out This Is Where You're Most Likely to Catch COVID Now, New Study Says.
While appearing on CNN on Feb. 2 with Don Lemon, Fauci addressed the issue of the imminent return of indoor dining in some areas. He explained that the only safe way to approach the practice is through social distancing of diners and making sure that tables are placed far enough apart from each other. "If you do indoor dining, you do it in a spaced way where you don't have people sitting right next to each other," he said. And for more ways you can protect yourself in public, find out why Dr. Fauci Says You Should Be Wearing This Kind of Mask Now.
Fauci, who has long been a vocal critic of the practice of eating indoors due to the potential dangers it presents, also took a moment to defend the hard calls he's had to make over the past year. He clarified that he was aware of the hardships such restrictions created for the restaurant industry, but that safety had to take priority.
"You know, people think sometimes that public health officials are oblivious to the economic considerations—not at all, I mean, we are very empathetic towards that," he confessed. "But we still have to maintain the public health measures if we're going to get our arms around this outbreak." And for more on getting coronavirus safety measures right, check out If Your Mask Doesn't Have These 4 Things, Get a New One, Doctor Says.
At another point in the interview, Fauci predicted that the end phases of the pandemic would likely begin before the end of the year, saying that society could "get back to normal" and people could resume some daily activities, like eating out safely, within the coming months. "I think if we do it right—if we really efficiently and effectively get people vaccinated—we can do that by the end of the summer [or] the beginning of the fall," he told Lemon.
But Fauci also emphasized that there were still plenty of major hurdles in the way before "normal" could become a reality again. "It's going to be a cohort effect, and what I mean by [that] is you that can't look at yourself in a vacuum," he explained. "Normal is a societal thing, so what we mean if we want our society to get back to normal, you have to get 70 to 85 percent of the population vaccinated. If you can get people protected and get an umbrella of what we call 'herd immunity,' the level of infection is going to go very, very low down in the community, and at that point, the entire community can get back to normal." And for more vaccine news, find out why If You're Over 65, You Shouldn't Get This New Vaccine, Experts Warn.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to reopen indoor dining has reignited a debate over the topic. In New York City, the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 people has increased from 40.2 on Dec. 11 when the decision was made to close dining rooms to 66.1 as of Jan. 29, The New York Times reports. According to a study released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in September, those who reported eating out at a restaurant in the previous two weeks were more than twice as likely to test positive for COVID than those who had not—even if basic safety precautions were in place.
"Direction, ventilation, and intensity of airflow might affect virus transmission, even if social distancing measures and mask use are implemented according to current guidance," the agency said in their report. "Masks cannot be effectively worn while eating and drinking, whereas shopping and numerous other indoor activities do not preclude mask use."And for more on who's most likely to get you sick, check out This Is Who Is Most Likely to Give You COVID Now, New Study Says.
Be conscious of shared surfaces.
Although surface contact is not believed to be the primary way the virus spreads, experts still recommend being careful about surfaces that other people may have touched: tabletops, silverware and so forth. Looking at a chalkboard menu might be safer than picking up a laminated one.
If you do touch common surfaces, wash or sanitize your hands and don’t touch your face. Thoughtful restaurateurs will provide sanitizer throughout the establishment, but it’s a good idea to bring your own. If you need to wash your hands in the restroom, Dr. Hedberg suggested that its condition may give you an insight into the restaurant’s overall commitment to a sanitary environment.
Picking up a French fry or a burger with your bare hands is permissible, once you’ve taken care of personal hygiene. But you were probably doing that before the pandemic, too. “You should always be washing your hands before you eat,” Dr. Hedberg said.