Sept. 16, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A Forest Hills block will close to traffic daily so restaurants in the area can expand their outdoor seating onto the roadway each day of the week.
A stretch of 70th Road, between Austin Street and Queens Boulevard will be turned over to diners seven days a week — an increase from just the weekends.
The block has been closing to traffic each weekend for expanded outdoor dining as part of the city’s Open Streets: Restaurant initiative. It is one of 40 streets within the program that will expand its open hours to weekdays, beginning as early as Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
“Restaurants deserve every chance they can get to serve more customers this fall – and, as the weather gets cooler, New Yorkers deserve every chance they can get to enjoy outdoor dining,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The Open Streets: Restaurants program has been a success, and we’re proud to grow its reach and give restaurants more tools to make it through this crisis.”
The new open dining hours for 70th Road are Monday through Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the city to support the Open Streets: Restaurant on the stretch of 70th Road, as well as a nearby stretch of Austin Street, from 72nd Avenue to 72nd Road.
However, the Austin Street stretch is only open for outdoor dining on weekends and Friday nights.
“The open streets program has really helped the restaurants that have been able to participate,” said Leslie Brown, President, Forest Hills Chamber of Commerce. “As we are not ready for full capacity indoor dining, being able to be outside with extended seats seven days a week is a win for these restaurant owners. The community loves outdoor dining too!”
Indoor dining — at 25 percent capacity — is set to return in New York City on Sept. 30.
The full list of Queens streets participating in the city’s Open Streets: Restaurants initiative is below.