Sunset Park added to Open Street: Restaurants program

July 17, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Sunset Park added to Open Street: Restaurants program
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Outdoor dining, Sunset Park style.

On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio extended the city’s Open Restaurants program until the end of October, giving thousands of restaurants two extra months to serve diners in socially distant outdoor spaces.

He also unveiled 26 more locations for the weekend expansion of outdoor dining options under an initiative that combines two popular programs, Open Streets and Open Restaurants, called Open Streets: Restaurants, with Sunset Park being one of them.

The program will begin on Fifth Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets for car-free dining and drinks starting tonight and throughout the summer. The hours are Fridays from 5 p.m.-11 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m.-11 p.m.

The Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) is hoping to expand the area from 44th to 49th Street and Fifth Avenue If all goes well and there’s community acceptance.

Local favorites such as Castillo Ecuatoriano Restaurant, Judy’s coffee shop, L’wren Bar, Mis Angelitos Bakery and Flor de Izucar Bakery will be open for outside dining and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

“In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the DOT ‘Open Streets: Restaurants’ program will throw a lifeline to small businesses that are fighting for survival,” said David Estrada, executive director of the Sunset Park 5th Avenue BID. “Business improvement districts are able partners for community and economic recovery. We stand ready to support this and other creative solutions that promote public health and commerce.”

Estrada also stressed the programs’ impact on local businesses,

“If the small businesses that make Sunset Park home are going to survive, we have to support them in every way possible,” he said. “Creating new public spaces like sidewalk and curbside seating is one way.”

However, he added that more must be done to save businesses.

“The most important actions neighbors can take is to visit, show support, shop, eat and drink at locally owned places,” he said. “Then our city needs to learn from these pandemic response programs and change the ways we conduct business permanently.”

The mayor also said the city will continue to work with the restaurant industry to ensure there is clarity on the guidelines for roadway seating setups.

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