Permanent Open Restaurants Program

Due to the success of the emergency Open Restaurants Program during COVID-19, New York City is working to create a permanent Open Restaurants program. This program will be managed by DOT and allow restaurants to use the sidewalk adjacent and curbside roadway space in front of their businesses for outdoor dining. In order to make this program permanent, the laws that control outdoor dining in non-emergency situations must be changed. Permanent Open Restaurants Program Brochure (pdf)

Vision for Permanent Program


There are many legal changes required to making this program permanent.

Fall 2021 to Fall 2022
Legal Actions Take Place (i.e. amendment to zoning text, changes to local law, rulemaking, design, and application details)
Winter 2022
Permanent Program Application Opens
Permanent Program Launches

Public Outreach DOT and the Department of City Planning (DCP) will be embarking on a six-month outreach program engaging with New Yorkers to inform the future design rules for the permanent Open Restaurants program. In-Person and remote roundtables will take place throughout this fall and winter. These discussions will offer opportunities for New Yorkers to share their thoughts on how Open Restaurant structures should be designed to ensure that the final program rules balance creativity, feasibility and cost as they seek to enhance comfort and safety for all New Yorkers. Specifics and updates on these sessions will be posted below.

.The DOT and DCP will present an overview of the Permanent Open Restaurants Design Guidelines Process, Goals, and solicit feedback.We encourage the public to attend the virtual public roundtable in February. Guidelines for Open Restaurants Permanent Design - Presented to all Five Boroughs (pdf) .Both the DOT and DCP will hold these meetings in February 2022.With the change of administration and the pending City Council action, we want to make sure the public has the most current information available.We are looking forward to sharing information about the Permanent Program and receiving as much feedback as possible. .Participants will share their input publicly.Details forthcoming.

Fall/Winter 2021Design and public engagement processes, organized and led by DCP and DOT, and assisted by an interagency Open Restaurants design taskforce. The design taskforce consists of representatives from relevant agencies involved in managing the restaurant industry or in street planning: DOB, DCWP, DEP, DOHMH, DSNY, EDC, FDNY, LPC, MOPD, MOME, PDC, and SBS. 
Spring 2022Completion of the design engagement process, marked with the release of design guidelines in Spring 2022, which will detail all the intended design parameters, vetted by the interagency group.
Summer/Fall 2022A robust community and borough level engagement and outreach program will be set up for sharing the design concepts in advance of the City’s rulemaking process known as the City Administrative Procedure Act, or CAPA. It is through CAPA that the City will finalize and adopt formal rules relating to the permanent Open Restaurants program, including rules for outdoor dining structures in the roadway.
Winter 2022Following adoption of the rules through CAPA, DOT will publish a final visual "manual" of design guidance, including an easy-to-use digital application that will provide a roadmap to restaurants on their outdoor dining structures. This resource will be made available ahead of the official launch of applications for the permanent Open Restaurants program, expected in late 2022.


Apply to be an Open Restaurant"s Open Restaurant Program is an effort to implement a citywide multi-phase program to expand outdoor seating options for food establishments to promote open space, enhance social distancing, and help them rebound in these difficult economic times. The temporary Open Restaurant program is in effect per Executive Order.

There are two options for expanded outdoor dining:

This application is only for food establishments seeking permission to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway. You do not need to apply to place outdoor seating on private property."s approach prioritizes geographic equity and allows us to reach the areas most impacted by COVID-19.

Outdoor Dining Area Siting Requirements



Please review the requirements to determine if your location qualifies to have an Open Restaurant sidewalk and/or roadway seating area.

Submitting an application is an acknowledgement that the establishment understands and agrees to all applicable terms and conditions and all applicable laws and guidance. If an establishment is not compliant, the City may revoke or suspend its authorization at any time during the program period.



Amplified Sound

Sidewalk Seating

Roadway Seating

Tents & Enclosures: Only utilize umbrellas with a weighted base or tents or other shelters, not to exceed 400 SF (square feet) in total or fully enclose the seating area, which follow manufacturers installation instructions to secure the tents properly and safely. Areas of multiple tents that are combined or are tied to each other cannot exceed 400 SF in total. All such umbrellas and tents may not extend past the barrier, obstruct access to or ventilation of utility covers, or obstruct clear paths. Umbrellas and tents should not be used during inclement weather such as high wind condition.New York State outdoor dining guidelines permit installing a temporary or fixed cover (i.e. awning, roof or tent): If two (2) or more side walls are open, and at least one is parallel to the roadway, you may operate following all outdoor dining guidelines (i.e. 6’ between tables, no more than 10 people seated at one table) Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, will be allowed for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulationOutdoor dining structures may not cover, shade, come in contact with, or be placed within 1’ of the trunk or branches a City treeOutdoor dining structures may not be placed within or over City tree beds without a permit from ParksOutdoor dining structures must not cause rainwater runoff to discharge directly into a tree bed; runoff from cleaning may not be discharged or allowed to flow into a tree bedFor restaurants with roof structures, the city will be releasing tips and guidance on how to make them secure, as well as quick action to remove snow from roofs, awnings, and tents Only electrical heaters are allowed within the roadway setupsHeating elements shall be placed at least 5’ from trunk or branches of City treesStructures may not be taller than your storefront or one story, whichever is shorterMultiple level structures are not permitted on the sidewalk or roadway Snow: DSNY Guidance for Open Restaurants during Winter Weather and Snow Alerts

To apply for a Tree Work Permit, please

Apply Online

To speed up the approval process, is allowing food establishments to self-certify that they meet program requirements.

For translation assistance with the application, please contact us online.

Open Restaurants Map & Dashboard

Find an Open Restaurant near you! Search the Open Restaurants map and dashboard at Restaurants appear in this database as soon as they self-certify.

Next Steps

Food establishments that self-certified will receive an email from the City authorizing outdoor seating on the City’s sidewalk and/or roadway in front of the establishment, in accordance with all applicable terms and conditions, laws and guidance.

Upon submission of the application and selection of either or both outdoor seating options, establishments will fulfill all the requirements of the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) for the “of right” extension and/or “Municipal” extension and no further filing with SLA will be required.

Inspections & Enforcement DOT may immediately revise, terminate or suspend, for a period of time and without prior notice, the seating area usage based on valid complaints, lack of ADA access, need for repairs, or for any other reason.

Outdoor Dining Inspections DOT teams conduct inspections and respond to complaints. We work with restaurants to improve their setups with the goal of bringing more businesses into compliance whenever possible. Restaurants not in compliance will be subject to fines or removal after ample notice.

Abandoned Outdoor Dining

All roadway seating must be used and occupied within 30 days of authorization. If roadway seating is not used and occupied for any 30-day period, any property within such roadway space may be deemed abandoned and the restaurant must have it removed. The City may remove the abandoned property after providing sufficient notice. Any restaurant can reapply to the program at any time after removal.



Outdoor Dining Setup:

Outdoor Dining Service:

Executive Orders:

New York State:

Contact Us

For help completing the application please call the SBS Hotline: (888-727-4692). launched this small business hotline to answer the most pressing questions of small business owners as they prepare to re-open. Small Business Advocates and Compliance Advisors will monitor the hotline and have been equipped with the latest guidelines and regulations to share with business owners.

For questions about the Open Restaurants program, self-certification process, or translation assistance with the application please contact us online. will rely on each establishment"s compliance with all of these terms and conditions and all applicable guidance. If you want to report an issue, concern or violation about an Open Restaurant, please contact satilikozelucak.com311.

Looking for information about’s Open Streets program? Visit Open Streets.