Outdoor Dining is Here to Stay…Consider Lease Provision Safeguards

With modifications and compliance with the city’s newly passed outdoor dining law, it is possible to continue dining outdoors. On August 16, 2023, Mayor Adams signed a new Local Law 121 of 2023, a new outdoor dining law, after being overlooked by a New York state supreme court judge’s declaration that the Mayor could no longer extend the outdoor dining guidelines through an emergency order.

According to the latest regulation, from April 1 through November 29 of each year, qualified NYC restauranteurs can continue offering outdoor dining on NYC sidewalks and roads because they obtain revocable consent from the Department of Transportation for outdoor dining purposes.

DOT of New York City will establish a foundational arrangement of regulations for these dining structures and laws related to revocable consent, though specifics are yet to be determined. This rule also confirms that restaurant tenants can offer outdoor dining from at least 10 am until 12 midnight each week, but they can not open before 10 am. on Sundays and cannot operate from November 30 to March 31. However, the guidelines still need to be specified regarding whether tenants must physically disassemble their outdoor dining structures from November 30 to March 31 or leave them new.

The law also mandates that restaurant tenants pay annual fees for the revocable consent application for their outdoor dining location and square footage of the roadway and sidewalk cafes. Higher fees will be applicable south of 125th Street in Manhattan. The restaurant tenants will have Nov 2023 to concede with the latest regulation. 

Regarding landlords, BBG’s seasoned leasing team had composed outdoor dining requirements to include commercial leases, defending landlords leasing to restaurant tenants. The requirements will ensure that landlords consider compliance with the latest law regarding tenants’ operations, financial responsibility for non-compliance, and overall compliance with the latest law. 

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