Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's warm outside. You're enjoying a snack and a cold beverage. You're sitting in the road. But is that allowed? Yes! The Department of Transportation said you can sit there.

Joseph Palmieri, Brooklyn Borough Commissioner for the Department of Transportation (DOT), writes about DOT's new Pop-Up Café Pilot Program:

The New York City Department of Transportation is launching an initiative which might be of interest to restaurants in your communities: the Pop-up Café pilot program. Currently, some restaurants are prohibited from installing outdoor cafés because their sidewalks are too narrow.
Under this program, DOT is seeking applications from restaurants who wish to install seasonal public seating in the parking lane of the street, along the curb.
This past summer one Pop-up Café was piloted on Pearl Street in Lower Manhattan; the sponsoring restaurants are thrilled to report an increase in business, and the new public space has been warmly welcomed by the community.
DOT is eager to expand the program to more locations in 2011. Please visit for more information on the program, as well as links to the Application, Design Guidelines, and photographs.

DOT asks that Community Boards reach out to restaurant owners in their neighborhoods to alert them to this new program. Also note that each restaurant's application requires a supporting letter from the Community Board, so Boards should be on the lookout for requests for letters of support from restaurants who apply to the Pop-up Café pilot program.
Applications for setting up Pop-up Cafés have to be received by Friday, December 3, 2010. Applications will only be accepted from restaurants that are located where sidewalk cafés aren't allowed.

Thanks to Jessica Turner, Brad Lander's Community Liaison for Kensington, for sending us this information.