New York City is now releasing data on the Open Restaurant applications that have come in. The Open Restaurant program expands the possibility for outdoor dining on roadways and sidewalks as the city reopens amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a plan to combine the Open Streets with Open Restaurants programs was announced earlier this week. Taking the raw data from the city, Savannah Wu, a recent Master of Urban Planning graduate from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, and one of Untapped New York’s Fun Map makers, has created a series of maps visualizing the data.

NYC Open Restaurant Map Roadway SeatingAll approved restaurants for roadway seating

The maps show the location of all the applications that have come in, one map with just approved, and one map with both  approved and not approved. The existing Open Streets are also located on the maps. For a zoomable map, you can also visit NYC DOT’s ARCGIS map.

Open Restaurants Roadway Seating MapAll applications (approved and non approved) for roadway seating

NYC restaurants with sidewalk seatingNYC restaurants approved for sidewalk seating

Open Restaurants Sidewalk Seating Map

All applications (approved and non approved) for sidewalk seating

As of today, there are 6,830 Open Restaurants in New York City. Open Restaurants are divided into three categories: roadway seating, sidewalk only, or both. Over 54% (3,720 restaurants) have permits for both types. 36% (2,424 restaurants) have sidewalk only and a little over 9% (646 restaurants) are roadway only. By borough, the division is pretty stark. Nearly half, over 48%, of the restaurants approved for Open Restaurants are in Manhattan, followed by Brooklyn at almost 25%, Queens at 20%, the Bronx at 5% and Staten Island at less than 2%. Beyond the percentages, only 351 restaurants are located in the Bronx, and 120 on Staten Island. Alcohol wise, 5045 establishments, or nearly 74% can serve alcohol — again, most are located in Manhattan.

NYC Open Restaurant Map Roadway Seating

NYC restaurants approved for serving alcohol

Open Restaurants Alcohol MapNYC restaurant applications for serving alcohol, approved and not approved

Approval rate wise, it appears that the easiest approval process is for sidewalk seating, perhaps because this concept already existed pre-COVID. 91% of applicants were approved for sidewalk seating, compared to just 62% for roadway seating. 74% of applicants who applied for alcohol serving were approved.

Here are some images of the outdoor seating we’ve come across in New York City in recent weeks. We’ve been impressed by the creativity of many restaurants and bars, adding umbrellas, greenery, and dividers.

Piccola Cuccina sidewalk seatingPiccola Cucina

Cafe Dante Caffe Dante

Kenn's Broome StreetKenn’s Broome Street Bar

Ben's Pizza Ben’s Pizza



Cafeteria in Chelsea Outdoor Dining

With the delay of indoor dining in phase 3 of re-opening, outdoor dining is a big priority for New York City’s leadership. Mayor de Blasio said earlier this week, “We’re going to reach out to every single restaurant that qualifies, but has not yet applied, and help them to apply. We’re going to work with BIDs. We’re going to work with the Hospitality Alliance, chambers of commerce, everyone – let’s get every restaurant into outdoor dining. Let’s maximize their revenue, bring back their workforce, but keep it outdoors primarily while we figure out the indoor piece.”

Read more about the open restaurant initiative here. You can apply to be an Open Restaurant here