BBG News

Outdoor Dining is Here to Stay…Consider Lease Provision Safeguards

Aug 22, 2023

At least with modifications and compliance with the City’s newly passed outdoor dining law. On August 16, 2023, Mayor Adams signed into law Local Law 121 of 2023, a new outdoor dining law after being rebuffed by a New York State Supreme Court Judge’s ruling that the Mayor could no longer extend the outdoor dining rules through emergency order.

Per the new law, eligible NYC restauranteurs can continue offering outdoor dining on NYC roads and sidewalks from April 1 through November 29 of each year, provided they obtain a revocable consent from the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) for that purpose.

The New York City DOT will establish foundational design guidelines for these dining structures as well as the rules related to revocable consent, though specifics are yet to be determined. The law, however, confirms that restaurant tenants can offer outdoor dining from at least 10 a.m. until 12 midnight each week (possibly longer) but cannot open earlier than 10 a.m. on Sundays and cannot operate from November 30 to March 31.  However, the law remains unclear as to whether tenants must physically dismantle their outdoor dining structures from November 30 through March 31 or simply leave them unused.

Additionally, the law mandates restaurant tenants to pay annual fees based on their location and the square footage of the roadway and sidewalk cafes, in addition to filing fees for the revocable consent application. Higher fees will be applicable south of 125th Street in Manhattan. Restaurant tenants will have until November 2024 to comply with the new law.

As it relates to landlords, BBG’s seasoned leasing team has crafted outdoor dining provisions to include in commercial leases, safeguarding landlords leasing to restaurant tenants.  The provisions will ensure that landlords take into consideration compliance with the new law regarding the tenant’s operations, the tenant’s financial responsibility for non-compliance, and overall adherence to the new law.

Contact Us

We encourage you to reach out to your BBG attorney for assistance in tailoring lease provisions to safeguard your assets.

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