Sidewalk cafes add
to the vitality of street life, and are considered
by many to be neighborhood amenities.
During the spring, fall and summer months, these
cafes allow visitors and residents alike to sit
outside, enjoy a meal or snack, while taking in
the sounds and sights of urban life. At the same
time, these cafes add to the fabric of neighborhoods
- something that is unique to cities and urban
The Department of City Planning has reviewed
the city’s policy towards sidewalk cafes
in Manhattan. Currently, compared to other boroughs,
there is a disproportionate number of streets
and neighborhoods in Manhattan where sidewalk
cafes are not permitted.
The Department examined these locations and
is proposing to allow in some of these areas exclusively
a new category of unenclosed sidewalk cafes -
sidewalk cafes. The Department believes
sidewalk cafes with a single row of tables
and chairs within 4 1/2 feet, would add character
to the streetscape and vibrancy to neighborhoods.
See the Small
Sidewalk Cafe Proposal (2.3 mb) for more information
on the proposed changes.
Proposed Design Guidelines for small sidewalk
stated above, small sidewalk cafes would consist
of a single row of tables and chairs, which
would occupy no more than 4-1/2 feet of the
sidewalk width. Like other cafes, these cafes
would be required to maintain a clear path
for pedestrians of at least eight feet. Unlike
other cafes, these unenclosed cafes would
not be permitted to use barriers to physically
separate the café space from the sidewalk.
This would maintain visual continuity along
the sidewalks and ensure that pedestrian circulation
is not obstructed.
View a larger graphic of the "potential
map which shows where all sidewalk
cafes were prohibited and permitted prior to
approval of this zoning proposal. (map of Manhattan
- 622 k)
the Adopted streets map.
It indicates the streets where exclusively small
sidewalk cafes are permitted
under the approved amendment. (map of Manhattan
- 624 k)