The Temporary Open Restaurants Program is a year-round program that allows bars and restaurants to place outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk or roadway.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is no longer accepting new applications under this temporary program. 

Find Open Restaurants near you.

The new permanent outdoor dining program, Dining Out NYC, is in development. Visit the Outdoor Dining page to learn more.

Establishments participating in the Temporary Open Restaurants Program are required to follow all general and site setup requirements. 

If an establishment is not compliant with the program requirements, NYC DOT may revoke or suspend the establishment’s authorization to operate outdoor dining.

Learn about Temporary Open Restaurants program rules and restrictions.

Get answers to frequently asked questions.

Hours of Operation

Restaurants and bars are required to close outdoor dining from 12 AM to 5 AM daily.

Tables and chairs must be removed or secured in place when not in operation.

Heating Equipment

Open Restaurants can incorporate heating elements into their outdoor dining setups. 

You have three heating equipment options:

  • Propane heaters are no longer allowed as of May 31, 2021. Propane must be removed from outdoor dining set ups.

Tent Enclosures

Restaurants are allowed to use tent enclosures to keep diners warm. 

  • In partial tent enclosures, at least 50% of the tent’s side wall surface area must remain open. Electrical heaters are allowed.
  • In full tent enclosures, the tent’s side walls may be closed but occupancy limitations are capped at 25% of capacity. Indoor dining guidelines must be followed. Electrical heaters are allowed.
  • Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes, are allowed for individual parties and must have adequate ventilation to allow for air circulation.

Pest Control

If a restaurant is offering outdoor dining, they must take steps to control rats and other pests. 

Restaurants are responsible for managing rats around their dining structures, including when rats have made nests (also known as burrows) into adjacent street trees. 

Learn how to reduce rats and other pests around outdoor dining areas.

Snow

The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) issues a Snow Alert when one or more inches of snow are possible. To protect customers, staff, and property, Open Restaurants may need to close roadway dining when a Snow Alert is in effect and take other precautions.

When roadway dining is suspended, Open Restaurants will be notified by email.

The establishment must:

  • Remove or secure any tables and chairs.
  • Remove all electrical heaters.
  • Remove any overhead coverings, if possible. At a minimum, please regularly remove the snow from overhead coverings until the snow alert ends.
  • Secure objects such as umbrellas, tents, tables, and chairs, or bring them inside if high winds are expected.

If 12 inches or more of snow is forecast, the establishment must also:

  • Remove or consolidate roadway setups to have as small a footprint as possible along the curb.
  • Use snow sticks to increase the visibility of setup components if they are moved.

The City will announce when the Snow Alert is over and in-street dining may safely resume.

You can sign up to receive Snow Alerts and other updates from Notify NYC or follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter for announcements.

Learn more about planning for snow and download DSNY flyers in multiple languages.

If you are a restaurant or bar owner and have questions about the Temporary Open Restaurants program, you can get help online or by phone.

Online

Get help with the Temporary Open Restaurants program.

By Phone

  • Agency: Small Business Services
  • Division: NYC Small Business Services Hotline
  • Phone Number: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692)
  • Business Hours: Monday - Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
  • Please call (212) 618-8810 after hours.

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.

Food Safety

To report problems with food safety practices in Open Restaurants, including unsanitary conditions and pests, visit the Food Safety 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.

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

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