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NYC Mayor dismantles an outdoor dining shed
Photograph: courtesy of the NYC Mayor’s Office

NYC is dismantling abandoned outdoor dining sheds

It has already demolished 24 shabby sheds across the city.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

In his tirade against the city’s garbage and grime, NYC Mayor Eric Adams announced a new plan to demolish abandoned dining sheds.

As part of this project, the city will identify inactive sheds belonging to shuttered restaurants and tear them down. The structures being looked at are no longer attached to functioning restaurants and therefore have fallen into disrepair and, in some cases, have attracted “illicit and illegal behavior,” the mayor’s office says.

So far, it has removed 24 of these shabby sheds over the last few days in an initial “blitz.”

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“Outdoor dining has transformed New York City and saved 100,000 jobs during the pandemic, but we cannot allow abandoned dining sheds to litter our streets,” Adams said. “These deserted dining sheds have become eyesores for neighbors and havens for rats, and we are going to tear them down. And, with this initiative, we are also taking the essential step toward a permanent Open Restaurants program that all New Yorkers can be proud of every day. I want to say it loud and clear: Outdoor dining is here to stay.”

You can watch the mayor start the demolition of a shed below:

The city is already investigating another 37 sheds that are “egregious violators of Open Restaurants program guidelines.” Under the new program, which is led by Deputy Mayor Meera Joshi, the New York City Department of Transportation and the New York City Department of Sanitation, abandoned sheds will be verified as abandoned two separate times before receiving a termination letter, followed by their removal and disposal.

Sheds that violate the Open Restaurants guidelines that are still part of active restaurants will also be reviewed and if they fail two inspections, the DOT will issue notices to correct problems. After a third visit, the DOT will issue a termination letter and allow 48 hours before issuing a removal notice. Then, the DOT will remove it and store it for 90 days. If it is not claimed during that time, the DOT will dispose of it.

You can help report abandoned sheds to 311.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance is on board with the city’s plans.

“It’s great news that Mayor Adams announced the city will remove abandoned outdoor dining structures that shuttered during the pandemic and will focus on revitalizing or removing dilapidated ones as we transition out of the temporary emergency program that saved countless small businesses and jobs,” said its executive director Andrew Rigie. “We look forward to working with the city to develop a permanent outdoor dining system that will be beautiful and sustainable for the future.” 

This initiative is the latest in the mayor’s plan to attack the city’s trash problem. Under his direction so far, giant trash bins are being installed across the city to cut down on garbage bags on sidewalks and new mini-street sweepers have made their debut to get into the smaller spaces in need of cleaning. The City Council has also pitched a Rat Action Plan to mitigate the seemingly exploding rat population.

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