Food Politics

New Rules Affecting Your Next Outdoor Brunch

By Christopher Stewart | August 9, 2013

brunch, outdoor seating, NYC, new rules

Photo by Mike C.

Dining alfresco is great for all times of the day whether it’s reading the paper in the morning watching people scurry off to work, or enjoying a small bite late at night accompanied with a glass of wine to calm down from your hectic day. Sitting outdoors for brunch is the ultimate weekend joy, and now you can brunch outdoors, starting at 10am.

New rules are now in effect, as city restaurants legally open their outdoor seating areas at 10am. For the first time in four decades, the city has repealed a law that forbid restaurants to seat diners outdoors before noon, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article. This law dating as far back as 1971, has been followed and also overlooked in recent years. Although tickets have been issued to some restaurants who disobey this law, the ban before noon has caused a number of issues for restauranteurs including crowded streets due to diners waiting outside for inside tables, which then upsets neighbors in return.

Before this lift, many diners were not willing to wait till noon to brunch at their favorite restaurants, and although it is still illegal to serve alcohol before noon, there is a upside to these new rules. Allowing diners to be seated outside earlier attracts more customers to restaurants, which brings more revenue for the business.

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