Mayor’s Message June 12, 2020-Village’s Outdoor Dining Plans

The Village of Floral Park is implementing outdoor dining plans to support our local restaurants as they are gradually allowed to re-open.  This plan is evolving as we receive guidance from the State as to what is permitted moving forward.

For those restaurants that have their own private space upon which they can locate tables and chairs, this past week the Village Building Department issued regulations for such restaurants to be granted temporary permission to have seating for outdoor dining on their own property. Several restaurants in the Village have already applied for and received the approval from the Village Building Department for this outdoor seating.

However, most restaurants in the Village do not have their own private space for outdoor dining. Also, all restaurants, including those with their own outdoor space, will be subject to strict limitations as to the number of people allowed to dine indoors once that is permitted (Phase 3 of State plan).

To address this and to help our local restaurants remain viable, the Village will be temporarily permitting outdoor dining in certain sections of the Village’s parking lots (Woodbine Court Lot, Violet Avenue Lot and Spooner Street Lot) and the Village right of way between Atlantic Avenue and Vernon Street.

In the first phase of this plan, the outdoor seating will be limited to tables and seats available for “takeout” service only (no waiter or waitress table service). In the second phase, as Village restaurants receive the necessary State approvals for table service at these locations, certain portions of these spaces in our municipal lots will be sectioned off for table service by these individual restaurants. However, because of the requirements from the State for this outdoor table service, many Village restaurants will not qualify, as a significant requirement is that the restaurant must be adjoining the outdoor space for table service to be permitted. To accommodate these restaurants, a certain portion of the Village parking lots will remain available for takeout service only in this second phase so that patrons of these restaurants can order take out and, hopefully, enjoy a short walk to tables in portions of our municipal lots to enjoy their meal. In addition, we hope to place seating and tables in various open areas, such as Lions and Rotary Park.

Like everything with this pandemic, how this evolves will change often. But we hope you will bear with us and be supportive of our local restaurants as we move forward. We will be commencing the first phase of this process today, and will be closing off relatively small portions of the Woodbine Court Lot, Violet Avenue. Lot, and Spooner Street Lot. As we move forward to the next phase (where restaurants are able to have table service) probably sometime next week, slightly larger portions of these same lots will be closed off from public parking.

We realize that these plans do not help all restaurants in all sections of the Village. Other plans for additional outdoor dining are being explored and hopefully will come to fruition shortly.

Also, we realize that the loss of parking spots is a significant concern for many. However, in the evening hours, there will be parking available in several lots that are underutilized at night (under the LIRR and the Carlton lot by Village Hall, for example). This may require a slightly longer than usual walk for some, but you should still be able to park fairly close to your favorite restaurants. Or, better yet, take a nice long walk from home on a summer night to an evening out in the Village.