‘Pop Up’ Cafes Coming Our Way?
Watch out this summer for sidewalk cafes that are likely to pop out of the streets of Astoria.
The city Department of Transportation (DOT) is accepting applications for “Pop Up” cafes that will be built in parking lanes outside restaurants that lack enough space to accommodate traditional sidewalk cafes, an agency spokesperson said.
After receiving DOT approval, restaurant owners would be licensed to build the cafes level to the sidewalk, preferably using recycled materials, the spokesperson said. Owners would be required to install protective barriers, such as planters or umbrellas, to make sure the café is visible from moving vehicles. The area must provide public access.
Cost to build the cafes would run as high as $10,000, construction industry sources said.
Permits for the cafes will be issued to qualified candidates including restaurant owners that do not have a current license to operate a sidewalk café.
Proposed sites will be evaluated based on geographical diversity, traffic safety and design considerations, the spokesperson said. Applications will not be considered where there is a moving lane of traffic next to the curb, a fire hydrant, a bus stop or an active driveway, the DOT spokesperson said. Restaurant owners would be licensed to operate the cafes from July to November of each year.
Applications are only being accepted for restaurants located along 31st Street in Astoria and Long Island City.
The city is currently accepting applications for operation of the “Pop Up” cafes during summer 2011, the spokesperson said. All applications are subject to review and approval by the local community board.