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More outdoor dining sheds pulled to accommodate repairs on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen

More outdoor dining sheds pulled to accommodate 9th Avenue repairs
More outdoor dining sheds pulled to accommodate 9th Avenue repairs 02:09

NEW YORK -- More sidewalk dining sheds get pulled in Hell's Kitchen to accommodate a big repair project on Ninth Avenue.

It comes just a few weeks after a federal restaurant bailout plan died in Congress, CBS2's Dave Carlin reported Friday.

Construction workers dig into Ninth Avenue along the West 50s to fix water mains and sidewalks. It's a big job that meant taking out roadway dining structures up and down the avenue on May 1. 

Restaurant owners thought they had done their part, but now they learn there's more. Several dozen eateries must remove additional structures - this time on side streets - and it must be done by June 20.

"It's so upsetting because this is cutting salaries. It's going to cut revenues," said Ama'lia Sarmiento, who owns Arriba Arriba Restaurant.

Sarmiento's restaurant struggled throughout the pandemic, only to get hit with setback after setback just when business should start booming. The dining out front was one loss, and now seating on the side as well. 

"The weather is beautiful, so people want to sit outdoors. They don't want to sit indoors," Sarmiento said. 

If these restaurant owners miss the June 20 deadline, not only do they face fines, but also the possibility their outdoor dining permits get revoked for good.

Friday, we emailed the New York City Department of Transportation to clarify the penalties and understand why the removals are not being done in phases. No one got back to us. 

"We really rely on this outdoor seating," said Sean Hayden, owner of Alfie's, Jaspers and Dalton's on Ninth Avenue. "You just don't take it down and store it somewhere. You take it down, it's garbage and then you got to rebuild it again." 

On top of it, the plug is pulled on the Restaurant Replenishment Fund, or RRF, in Congress. That money to bail out owners is gone.

"We're depending on that money and the money never came true. It didn't get approved in the Senate," Hayden said.

Earlier in May, Mayor Eric Adams spoke about the Ninth Avenue sheds.

"So hold on, they're coming back," Adams said on May 2. 

Restaurant owners say they are determined to try and tough it out. But for some, they say, that won't be possible. 


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