Over the weekend, the Belmont Business Improvement District launched “Piazza di Belmont” on the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue, its first-ever piazza-style al fresco dining plan. Between East 188th Street and Crescent Avenue, diners can enjoy an authentic European-style outdoor dining experience from Thursday to Sunday nights. During the weekend nights, the street is closed to vehicular traffic Thursdays to Saturdays from 6 pm to 10 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 9:30 pm.

Arthur Avenue Retail Market Oudoor DiningArthur Avenue Retail Market Outdoor Dining / Courtesy of Belmont Business Improvement District (BID).

The Belmont BID partnered with Sam Schwartz, former NYC Traffic Commissioner and mastermind behind New York’s potential ribbon bridges, for the initiative. The outdoor weekend dining plan will follow all safety protocols like six-feet spacing between tables, temporary street closures, and signs for pedestrians. All staff must wear face masks and must be screened daily, and cleaning and disinfecting will follow CDC guidelines.

Emilia's in the BronxPhoto Courtesy of Belmont Business Improvement District (BID).

The Bronx’s Arthur Avenue is considered the Bronx’s Little Italy, with over a dozen authentic Italian eateries serving both northern and southern Italian cuisine. With a rather old-fashioned feel and shops open for over 100 years, the Bronx’s Little Italy features everything from fresh fish markets to cannoli shops to cigar stores. Additionally, the area is also known for its small Albanian enclave, and Albanian flags can be found in a number of eateries and groceries.

Enzo's of Arthur AvenueEnzo’s of Arthur Avenue / Courtesy of Belmont Business Improvement District (BID).

“While Little Italy in the Bronx has been operating during COVID-19 due to our essential businesses including butchers, pharmacies, fish markets, delis, bakeries, pizzerias, and many other specialty stores and services, we have looked forward to reopening our restaurants which make up the other half of our historic, multi-generational neighborhood,” said Peter Madonia, Chairman of the Belmont BID, in a statement. “Streets remain open during normal business hours every day while the weekend evenings are a new opportunity for visitors to experience our own Little Italy in the Bronx piazza-style al fresco dining.”

Cka ka Qellu in the BronxPhoto Courtesy of Belmont Business Improvement District (BID).

Estrellita Poblana III in the BronxPhoto Courtesy of Belmont Business Improvement District (BID).

Diners are highly recommended to make reservations at restaurants before making the journey to Arthur Avenue. Participating restaurants in “Piazza di Belmont” include Ann & Tony’s, Antonio’s Trattoria, Arthur Avenue Fiasco, Azgardz, Bronx Beer Hall, Café Nocciola, Cka Ka Qellu, Emilia’s Restaurant, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue, Estrellita Poblana III, Gerbasi Ristorante, Gurra Café, Mario’s Restaurant, Mike’s Deli, Michaelangelo’s, Pasquale’s Rigoletto Restaurant, San Gennaro Restaurant, Tapas Italiano, Tino’s Deli, and Zero Otto Nove.

Next, check out NYC’s Future Ribbon Bridge for Bikes and Pedestrians over the East River!