You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Deserted NYC Outdoor Dining Sheds Will Be Demolished, Mayor Says

Patch 8/18/2022 Matt Troutman
Mayor Eric Adams took a sledgehammer Thursday to an abandoned outdoor dining shed in Manhattan. © NYC Mayor's Office Mayor Eric Adams took a sledgehammer Thursday to an abandoned outdoor dining shed in Manhattan.

NEW YORK CITY — Deserted dining sheds littered across New York City's streets will be torn down in an effort to restore the outdoor dining program's good name, said Mayor Eric Adams.

Adams on Thursday announced that 24 such abandoned sheds were demolished in an initial "blitz."

The city will step up enforcement and dismantle more sheds in coming weeks, he said.

"We're saying no to rats, no to loitering, no to illegal activities," he said, before turning to an abandoned shed on West 32nd Street and Fifth Avenue.

"The dismantling of this abandoned shed is not a dismantling of what we believe is a successful program. We are strongly in support of the outdoor dining program."

With that, Adams took a sledgehammer and knocked down one of the shed's walls.

The mayor's apparent ease at demolition did raise a question from an onlooker, who asked: "Did they precut that?"

How easy it will be for city officials to cut through bureaucratic red tape and take down abandoned sheds remains to be seen.

A growing chorus of some locals believe the sheds are neighborhood eyesores and attract rats. Such complaints form the backbone of a recent lawsuit that aims to shut down the pandemic-era program as officials move to make it permanent.

Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi acknowledged abandoned and the most "egregious non-compliant" sheds represent a dark spot on an otherwise popular program. She cited a recent Regional Planning Association survey that found 86 percent of New Yorkers are strongly in support of Open Restaurants.

The enforcement effort targeted abandoned sheds in front of closed restaurants, as well as 37 more that have significant violations for vermin and safety, officials said.

"The point is we can't let a few bad apples be the standard for the reputation of a program that is overwhelmingly popular, overwhelmingly used and is overwhelmingly stood up by the foundation of the good, hardworking, well-meaning restaurateurs throughout our city," Joshi said.

More than 13,000 restaurants participate in the city's Open Restaurant program, and officials maintain that deserted sheds represent a small minority.

Sheds must be verified to be abandoned through two inspections before they're demolished, officials said.

A task force also will review active sheds that are "particularly egregious violators" of Open Restaurants rules, according to a mayor's office release. After three failed inspections, the city will issue a termination letter, give 48 hours before sending out a removal notice and, finally, remove the sheds, officials said.

People who see abandoned sheds are asked to call 311 and say "Open Restaurants" or "outdoor dining" to give the structures' location, officials said.

The article Deserted NYC Outdoor Dining Sheds Will Be Demolished, Mayor Says appeared first on New York City Patch.

AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon