NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- What should be done about outdoor dining in New York City?
Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang spoke exclusively with Mayor Eric Adams on the issue that has become so divisive for New Yorkers.
Dining al fresco could soon become a permanent luxury in New York City.
"Outside dining saved almost 100,000 jobs," Adams said.
Sheds were added to the menu during COVID when restaurants were suffering and told to socially distance tables. Except in cramped spaces, that was not possible. So, restaurant owners got the secret ingredient of a lifetime: they were allowed to spill out onto the street.
"I love outdoor dining. I think they should keep it," painter Robert Santore said.
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Diner Isabel Mirabal said outdoor dining has brought a new life to the city.
Tourists from Switzerland found the vibe very European.
"I think it's very nice for tourists," Philippe Jacquemoud said.
However, not everyone is giving rave reviews. A lawsuit has been filed arguing it's time to treat these like old fish and discard them.
Critics complain of the homeless, rodents and garbage.
And then there's the tug of war over public real estate. Lucy Yang saw numerous sheds completely empty or locked during the dinner hour, taking up precious parking spots.
"We can live together; we're going make sure we do it right and make it fit into the New York we know," Adams said.
The mayor believes there's room for everyone and is hoping to establish some safety standards as these sheds become part of the dining experience.
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