The Open Restaurants program allows bars and restaurants to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk or roadway.

If you own a restaurant or bar, you must apply for Open Restaurants certification to offer outdoor dining service, even if you already have an Unenclosed Sidewalk Café License or a Small Sidewalk Café License.

You don't need to apply for the Open Restaurants program to place outdoor seating on your restaurant or bar's private property, such as a private yard, parking lot, terrace, or roof top.

Open Restaurants may also participate in the Open Streets: Restaurants program.

Find Open Restaurants near you.

To be eligible to participate in Open Restaurants, your restaurant or food service business must:

When you apply, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to all applicable terms and conditions and all applicable laws and guidance for operating your outdoor dining area.

If you are not compliant, the City may revoke or suspend its authorization at any time during the program period.

Learn about Open Restaurants program rules and restrictions.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about Open Restaurants.

Note that in addition to the rules for Open Restaurants, businesses must also follow State-mandated health and safety rules for their industry. To learn more, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Businesses page.

To speed up the approval process, the City is allowing restaurants and bars to self-certify that they meet program requirements.

You will need to provide:

  • Business name (“Doing Business As” name), address, and contact information
  • Food Service Establishment Permit number
  • Dimensions of sidewalk and/or roadway seating areas

If you are planning to serve alcohol, you must also provide:

  • State Liquor Authority (SLA) serial number
  • SLA license information
  • Licensee certification

When you apply, you acknowledge that you understand and agree to all applicable terms and conditions and all applicable laws and guidance.

Learn more and apply for the Open Restaurants Program.

If you are a restaurant or bar owner and have questions about Open Restaurants, self-certification, or program requirements, you can get help online or by phone.

Online

Get help with Open Restaurants.

By Phone

  • Agency: Small Business Services
  • Division: NYC Business Restart Hotline
  • Phone Number: (888) 727-4692
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM

Outdoor Dining

To report an Open Restaurant not following program guidelines, including seating areas that are blocking streets or sidewalks, visit the Outdoor Dining Complaint page.

Health and Safety

Open Restaurants, like other businesses, must follow State-mandated health and safety guidelines for their industry. To report a business that isn’t following health and safety rules, go to the Business Reopening Complaint page.

Food Safety

You can report problems with food safety practices in Open Restaurants, including unsanitary conditions and pests. Learn more on the Restaurant, Deli, or Food Cart Complaint page.

Social Distancing and Face Coverings

To report overcrowding at an Open Restaurant or a lack of face coverings where a 6-foot distance from others isn’t maintained, visit the Social Distancing or Face Covering Complaint page.

Noise

To report noise from a food establishment, visit the Noise from Bar, Club, or Restaurant page.

Alcohol Service

Bars and restaurants can serve alcoholic beverages only if they are licensed by the State Liquor Authority and submit all appropriate documents with their Open Restaurants application.

Open Restaurants may also only serve alcohol to people ordering and eating food.

To report an Open Restaurant serving alcohol without a license, visit the Alcohol License Check page.

To report an Open Restaurant serving alcohol to customers who are not ordering food, visit the Alcohol Sale Complaint page.

The Open Streets: Restaurants program expands outdoor dining space for food establishments by closing select streets to vehicle traffic on Friday evenings and on weekends.

Only community-based organizations, Business Improvement Districts (BID), or groups of three or more food establishments can apply to close streets in their neighborhood.

To participate in Open Streets: Restaurants, individual restaurants, bars, or cafes must apply for the Open Restaurants program separately.

Open Streets: Restaurants runs until October 31st.

Learn more and apply for the Open Streets: Restaurants program.