Everything You Need to Know About the Reopening of Outdoor Dining in New York


Here are the guidelines restaurants throughout New York will follow when reopened for outdoor dining and a list of places that are open for outdoor dining in your area.

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Outdoor dining is one of the simple pleasures that comes along with the warm weather that rolls in with the summer on Long Island, Westchester, and Rockland county. This year, we haven’t had that opportunity yet because of the coronavirus. Luckily, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently moved outdoor dining into Phase 2 of reopening in New York—which Westchester, Long Island, and NYC recently entered! (Indoor sit-down service will still not be allowed until the Phase 3 of reopening in New York.) New York restaurants are doing everything they can to keep you and your family safe upon reopening for outdoor dining, and many are even getting creative with their dining experiences. Here’s how they’ll keep you safe, what you can do to protect your family, and a list of restaurants open for outdoor dining on Long Island, in Westchester, in Rockland, and in NYC. We will continue to update this article as more information is presented to us about restaurants reopening.

How You Can Keep Your Family Safe When Eating at Restaurants

Wendy Proskin, M.D., pediatrician at Westmed Medical Center advises families to wear masks when arriving and until they are seated and bring hand sanitizer to use after sitting at the table (just in case the restaurant doesn’t provide). You might be wondering how you can wear masks while eating or drinking at the table. The answer is, as long as the tables are six feet apart (which they should be in order to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York State regulations), you don’t have to worry about wearing a mask while seated at your table. If you’re walking to and from the table or walking to the restroom, definitely put your mask on. At restaurants where it’s possible, ordering ahead is encouraged in order to minimize lingering at the counter.

Also, keep in mind that this is new territory for the restaurants. The experience will likely be very different from what you and your family are used to, so be patient and understanding to restaurant staff.

How Restaurants Are Keeping Customers Safe

As with every activity during the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC has released guidelines for restaurants to follow when reopening their dining rooms (or outdoor dining rooms, for now). Keep in mind, these guidelines are meant to supplement (not replace) any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.

  • Employees are required to wash hands before, during, and after preparing food.

  • Employees are encouraged to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues and then wash hands. 

  • Cloth face coverings are required amongst all staff.

  • Adequate hand hygiene supplies must be available, including soap, hand sanitizer (at least 60-percent alcohol) on every table, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings, and no-touch or foot pedal trash cans.

  • Signs that promote everyday protective measures and describe how to stop the spread of germs should be posted in highly visible locations (entrances, restrooms).

  • Frequently touched surfaces (door handles, cash registers, workstations, sink handles, bathroom stalls) must be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

  • Layouts should change to ensure that all parties are at least 6 feet apart.

  • Seating capacity must be limited to 50 percent.

  • Restaurants should ask customers to wait in cars or away from the restaurant while they wait to be seated.

  • Physical barriers should be installed in areas where it is difficult for individuals to remain at least 6 feet apart (kitchens, cash registers, host stands, food pickup areas)

  • Physical guides (tape on floors or sidewalks) must be provided to maintain 6 feet distance.

  • Employees will be screened daily via telephone or electronically for COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Bartenders and customers must maintain proper social distance. 

Meant to be followed in conjunction with CDC guidelines, New York State also released guidelines for restaurants to follow during COVID-19 which you can find here.

Yelp business pages now include a coronavirus safety section that includes information on whether a business is enforcing social distancing, sanitizing between customers, or requires masks and temperature checks for customers, according to Business Insider. The section will include a timestamp so customers will know when the information was last updated and will rely on customer feedback for verification.

Where You Can Dine Outdoors in the New York Metro Area

In New York City, the City Council introduced legislation that will require the city’s transportation department to identify streets, sidewalks, plazas, and other open spaces to allow restaurants to set up socially distant, outdoor dining rooms. This legislation also guarantees that restaurants in these areas will receive a temporary, free sidewalk license. Owners of restaurants adjacent to parking lots will be allowed to set up tables and chairs in these lots (with permission of the landlord). This legislation is set to expire Oct. 31, or whenever social distancing requirements are eliminated. 

Oyster Bay Town supervisor announced a plan to close select streets to provide restaurants adequate space for socially distant outdoor dining. Farmingdale will follow suit in closing Main Street to allow restaurants to use this added space. Other towns throughout Long Island are expected to replicate this to allow for outdoor dining, and towns will expedite the process for getting outdoor dining as well as waive associated fees.

Anchor Down Seafood Bar & Grill, Merrick
Bar Frites, Roslyn
Harbor Mist, Cold Spring Harbor
Salt on the Water, Merrick
Louie’s Oyster Bar and Grille, Port Washington
Gatsby’s Landing, Roslyn
That Meetball Place, Farmingdale
Copper Hill, Williston Park
Cassariano, Mineola
1221 MFP, Roslyn (opening outdoor dining soon, check their social media for updates)
Pomodorino Rosso, Valley Stream
Lenox and Park Italian Bistro, Rockville Centre
Plattdeutsche Park, Franklin Square
The Boatyard, Tobay Beach
AcQua Restaurant, Merrick
Seventh Street Cafe
, Garden City
Uncle Bacala’s, Garden City Park
The Helm, Freeport
Angelina’s, Lynbrook
Cippollini, Manhassett
La Nona Bella, Garden City
Salvatore's of Elmont, Elmont
Besito, Roslyn Village
Palmer's American Grille, Farmingdale
Market Bistro, Jericho
Rustic Root, Woodbury
Buteras, Woodbury
LB Social, Long Beach
Jetty Bar & Grill, Long Beach
SwingBellys, Long Beach
JJ Coopers, Long Beach
Brixx & Barley, Long Beach
Sorrento's of Long Beach, Long Beach
Lilly's, Long Beach
Minnesota's, Long Beach
The Inn, Long Beach
Cabana, Long Beach
The Ugly Duckling, Long Beach
ROC & OLIVE, Long Beach
The Coalhouse Grille, Baldwin (opening June 25)

Harvest On Fort Pond, Montauk
Shagwong Tavern, Montauk
Robkes, Northport
Andrea’s 25, Commack

Peter’s Clam Bar, Island Park
Teller’s Chophouse, Islip
Blackstone, Melville
Sangria 71, Commack
Best Pizza & Dive Bar, Amagansett
Tula Kitchen, Bay Shore

Author: Melissa Wickes, a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute, is the production editor for NYMetroParents. When she's not writing, she can be found playing the guitar or eating pasta. See More