The District That Inspires®

June 29, 2020

Restaurants Take to the Streets in NoMad

Summer has officially arrived, and nothing feels more like summer in The Big Apple than dining al fresco. New York City has entered Phase 2 of reopening and restaurants taking to the streets in NoMad. Eateries and bars are now officially open for sit-down business under new reopening regulations.

New Yorkers are celebrating their renewed ability to eat and drink outdoors at their favorite restaurants and are more than willing to comply with reopening precautions and protocol.

Jacqueline Lolong, Hospitality Manager at Black Barn says their opening night was full. Customers were happy to wait for a table while practicing safe social distancing. No one complained about the new policies – they were simply happy to be eating out.

In preparation for restaurants’ reopening, the New York City Council passed new legislation that requires the DOT (Department of Transportation) to identify outdoor areas around the city that can be used for additional outdoor seating – spaces like sidewalks, streets, and plazas. This is intended to help businesses, especially those that have little or no outdoor dining space, to expand their footprint for the summer.

Open Street Seating

One thing new to New Yorkers in the Phase 2 Plan is the allowance for dining in Open Streets (with tables placed six feet apart). As of early June, there are over 45 miles of Open Streets throughout New York City, with plans to expand to 100 miles. Here is a full listing of Open Streets in the five boroughs.

While some establishments are still working with the DOT to gain access to this sort of seating, NoMad’s La Pecora Bianca has already set up tables on Broadway just below 26th Street. Almost immediately, restaurant-goers are seizing the opportunity and enjoying its offerings.

Sidewalk Seating

Other NoMad establishments are finding new and novel ways to take advantage of the outdoors and provide customers with a memorable experience.

Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room on 24th Street has a sidewalk set up with tall bar tables and a comfy green sofa for patrons who know each other to share (maybe the green is inspired by their Crispy Alligator appetizers)

Plaza Seating

Eataly’s colorful kiosk in Flatiron Plaza between Eataly Nomad and Madison Square Park is serving up delicious artisanal gelato, pizza, and summer drinks. Generously spaced tables are available in the plaza for dining after you pick up your food.

Many other NoMad restaurants are branching out under the summer sky as well – among them are Bazar Tapas, Dos Caminos, Gregory’s Coffee, John Doe, Little Beet Table, Smile to Go, Tappo Thin Crust.

New York City’s “Open Restaurants”

In a recent interview with Pix11, Executive Director of the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership, James Mettham, talks with Marysol Castro about the impact New York City’s “Open Restaurants” plan will have helping to pave the way for outdoor dining at NoMad and Flatiron restaurants (230 of them). Read full article and see interview: Flatiron, NoMad Restaurants Expand Seating to Curbs, Streets Amid NYC Reopening.

Bloomberg journalists Elena Popina, Kate Krader, and Jennifer Surane also report on what’s happening across the five boroughs in Tracking the Reopening of New York City.

Searchable Map of NYC Open Restaurants

The New York Department of Transportation has a helpful searchable online map of over 6200 New York City restaurants. The databsed can be searched by borough, zip code, or specific restaurant name and will inform you if the establishment has sidewalk seating, roadway seating, or both. It also lets users know if the restaurant has alcohol service or not (the database can be searched by alcohol service as well).

Search here: Map of NYC Open Restaurants

How to Be a Good Phase 2 Patron

As we gain access to more and more of what we love about New York, it’s important to remember what it is to be safe and respectful of others. The Gothamist’s Jen Carlson speaks with an epidemiologist about etiquette and advice for eating out, which is excerpted below (read the full article here).

  • Wear a mask, even when seated, when you aren’t drinking or eating, and especially when ordering from waitstaff.
  • Be aware of how much space is next to you and the next party.
  • Practice hand hygiene: wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer or wipes.
  • If you’re having many drinks, you might start to feel safe and like we’re not living in a world where a highly contagious virus is still spreading — try to not forget that we’re in a pandemic.
  • Tip well! The essential workers serving you are putting their own health at risk for a paycheck, and so that you can have a sense of normalcy. So in addition to keeping their health in mind, tip more than you would have pre-pandemic.

If there’s anything this time has taught us, it’s to appreciate the simple pleasures of what our unique neighborhood offers. So as we venture into Phase 2, don’t take for granted what is opening up to us. Be sure to say thank you in as many ways as you can – verbally, by smiling (even under a mask, others see it in your eyes), by tipping well, by writing a positive online review, and by respecting other’s health and wellbeing. We’re not out of the woods yet, but at least we can open up our worlds a bit, eat and drink under the open sky, and support our local business while we all get through this together. Now go enjoy the summer and nice meal.