BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENCH
Outdoor dining space will pop up on 22 streets beginning this weekend, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.
Some of the new streets include Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, Mulberry Street in Manhattan, and Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Only 2.6 miles of street space will be used to accommodate the new service which will be available Friday nights and weekends.
The news comes a day after both de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo postponed indoor dining in New York City due to a rising number of new coronavirus infections in other states being linked back to crowded indoor bars and restaurants.
De Blasio told reporters that the city needs to “double down on open streets and open restaurants” given all of the “really troubling realities” in other parts of the country.
California Governor Gavin Newsom closed bars and restaurants, along with some other businesses, in 19 counties ahead of the 4th of July weekend to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The 19 counties have been on a state monitoring list for more than three days after new infections rose at an alarming rate. Texas and Florida implemented similar moves after new infection rates began to rise in both states and after health officials labeled bars as the riskiest non-essential business for spreading the disease.
During a recent resurgence in Michigan, state health officials linked 85 new cases of the coronavirus to one bar in East Lansing.
The city is also expanding outdoor dining options is to meet current demand. Four days after Mayor de Blasio announced the city’s outdoor dining plan as a part of Phase 2, over 5,650 restaurants applied to be self-certified to open their patios, sidewalks and other adjacent areas to outdoor dining.
New Yorkers will be able to sit outside at restaurants on Hester St., Orchard St., Broome St., W. 46th St., Broadway, Bell Blvd., 41st Ave. and New Dorp Ln on Staten Island this weekend as well.
More streets will be allowed to open up sidewalks, patios and block off-street space for outdoor dining in the coming weeks, Mayor de Blasio said, with new outdoor dining to come to Dyckman Street in northern Manhattan soon.
This story first appeared on amny.com.