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

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.

ALSO READ | Dance trailblazer leads artistic charge at Ailey II

we highlight a trailblazer in the world of ballet who is now heading up the next generation of performers at a dance theater in New York City.



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.

HOW TO HELP | Here's how to donate, help Ukraine amid Russian attacks
EMBED More News Videos

In this Eyewitness News special, we look at the local charities and heroes who are stepping up to help Ukraine following Russia's invasion of the country.



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.


----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.