Dozens of outdoor dining sheds in Hell's Kitchen dismantled to allow street repairs

Lauren Glassberg Image
Monday, May 2, 2022
Outdoor dining sheds in NYC dismantled to allow street repairs
More than two dozen outdoor dining sheds in Hell's Kitchen has been dismantled to allow for repairs to a water main and expand the sidewalk. Lauren Glassberg has the story.

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Outdoor dining structures have been a lifeline for restaurants during the pandemic, but over the weekend, more than two dozen restaurants in Manhattan were forced to tear them down.

In the past two days, dozens of dining sheds in Hell's Kitchen have been dismantled and taken down to allow a water main to be repaired and the sidewalk expanded.

"We had this beautiful outdoor shed here we fit about 20 to 25 seats and people would love to sit out there," said Jonathan Lax of Hummus Kitchen.

The shed that Hummus kitchen had erected doubled its seating capacity and offered peace of mind for hesitant diners.

They spent several thousands of dollars to build their shed.

They spent even more at Kashkaval Garden.

"We spent maybe $10,000 to build the space and then the city came by with other requirements," said Jeremy Pasha of Kashkaval Garden.

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It ultimately became an oasis for many customers.

"It was covered, we had plants, gardens, lights ... everything that made our guests feel comfortable," Pasha said.

The roadway sheds were a lifeline for businesses to recoup lost income during the height of the pandemic.

The construction project on Ninth Avenue actually began in 2017, and a section was delayed in part to give restaurants more time to capitalize on outdoor seating, but the city said the work needed to finally resume.

But some encouraging news came from Mayor Eric Adams on Monday.

"I'm a strong supporter in them remaining we are just telling those on Ninth Avenue hold on they're coming back," Adams said.

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It's ultimately up to city council to determine the future of dining sheds throughout the city, but the mayor is a fan and wants to see a better version going forward -- which bodes well for these restaurants.

"Any day they give us extra seating is money in our books," Pasha said.

"It was definitely an investment we'd love to have back," Lax said.

Even if they have to build a brand new structure.


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