This summer, diners around the city will either see dining structures with a soft awning, with a hard one, ones built to accommodate an incline or structures in a floating parking lane.

“What they will get [on] the menu when they go to the website is only optional,” city Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodríguez said of the new prefabricated outdoor dining kits. “They can use other designs if they fulfill all the rules.”

What You Need To Know

  • The four structures are an easy way for restaurants to comply with the new permanent outdoor dining program rules

  • The new structures take into account pedestrian and diner safety, as well as quality of life issues, like rats

  • Now that Dining Out NYC will be from April to November, the structures are easy to assemble and disassemble

DOT collaborated with architectural design firm WXY and fabricators SITU to propose four prefabricated kits for dining structures that would comply with the city’s new permanent outdoor dining rules, which roll out this year.

“These ‘kit of parts’ is really showcasing how easy it is to sort of put together the roadway setups,” said Ya-Ting Liu, the city’s chief public realm officer. “But also how easy it is to take down and take apart.”

That’s because the roadway dining will only be from April to November under Dining Out NYC. The program aims to consider quality of life and safety issues, informing how the barriers and floors are constructed.

“It’s an aluminum structure that holds water containers so it fills up and meets the rules of the 150 pounds per linear foot so it’s a very sturdy outside barrier,” said Jacob Dugopolski of WXY. “And a modular floor system so it’s easier to clean.”

Sunday to Sunday on Orchard Street opted for this setup with a fabric top.

Co-owner Gurpreet Singh said it’s not only practical but customizable.

“The water barriers they work so well, they keep pests out,” said Singh. “And above all, like, even — if you look outside — there are these sheets of wood that slide in and out, they have our logos on it, Going back to customizability, it’s as easy as that.”

The point, to make it easier for those in the pandemic-era temporary program to apply early for the permanent one.

“We want to make this program as accessible and easy to use for restaurants throughout all five boroughs,” said Liu.

The portal to apply for the permanent outdoor dining program will open March 5.  

But you will still see the old dining sheds as well this summer. The DOT is giving restaurants until November to take those down.