Beginning this weekend, restaurant owners on Bell Boulevard will be able to expand their outdoor dining options under a new citywide initiative that combines two popular programs: Open Streets and Open Restaurants.
Belle Boulevard is among the first 22 locations for the program that will open to pedestrians, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. Another 10 to 20 corridors will be approved by Friday, July 17.
Restaurants on these corridors will be able to place seating further away from the curb than other Open Restaurants participants, and the remaining street space will be open to pedestrian traffic.
The Bayside Village Improvement District will be managing two connected streets in Bayside as part of the program: Bell Boulevard, between 39th and 41st avenues; and 41st Avenue, between Bell Boulevard and 214th Place.
These streets will be fully closed to vehicles on Friday evenings, from 5 to 11 p.m., and Saturdays, and for expanded outdoor dining on Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 11 p.m. and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays. Expanded seating will last until Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 7).
An emergency clear lane will be maintained down the middle of the street to make sure that the streets remain safe and passable for emergency vehicles.
Councilman Paul Vallone was thrilled to share the news about the initiative, which will offer some more dine-in food service in the open air.
“This gives New Yorkers a safe way to enjoy a meal out while supporting their favorite local eateries,” said Vallone, who is also chair of the Committee on Economic Development.