Date: April 13, 2021
ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan has announced the City of Albany is kicking-off another season of the highly-anticipated Extended Patio & Outdoor Café program designed to assist local eateries by providing safe and socially distanced dining opportunities.
The City will allow businesses to expand their outdoor cafés further into the sidewalk while providing necessary space for pedestrians to safely traverse, and by allowing pedestrians to utilize the parking lane with additional barricades so the entire depth of the sidewalks can be utilized for outdoor dining. The City is utilizing several methods to ensure pedestrian safety and continued ADA compliance, including temporary barricades and ramps.
Businesses that have already applied for a Sidewalk Café permit need to submit a dimensioned plan of the proposed café area, a Certificate of Insurance, and provide notice to the New York State Liquor Authority. More information for businesses can be found in the FAQs. Access an application for a Revocable Street Permit.
This program is made possible through New York State’s continued SLA guidance and the continued Emergency Orders issued by Mayor Sheehan allowing the City of Albany to creatively assist local eateries by establishing safe, socially distanced dining opportunities.
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “The City of Albany has worked closely with our business community since this pandemic began to identify creative and innovative ways to help our local eateries serve our residents and visitors in a safe and socially distanced way, and the extended patio & outdoor café program is one of the most popular ways to do just that. I thank the Albany Parking Authority, our three Business Improvement Districts, and all of our local businesses for working closely with the City to ensure this program continues once again this summer.”
Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "Last summer showed what reducing vehicle traffic along major thoroughfares in cities across New York and the Capital Region can do for our local economies and locally-owned restaurants. Here in Albany, we saw increased foot traffic along some of our City's most central business and residential locations like Lark Street and Upper Madison Avenue. Albany's Expanded Cafe Patio Program illustrated what a more walkable, connected, and vibrant City looks like – and I commend Mayor Sheehan and her administration for their commitment to ensuring this program is a success and for helping our small business community – hit hard by the global pandemic – recover from the financial turbulence of the past year."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "It is welcome news for our local restaurants that the City of Albany is launching the second year of the Expanded Café Patio program. As we welcome the warm weather, I am glad to see that the City has extended this program to allow our restaurants to continue recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic closures and restrictions that were in place. This program was a prime example of adapting during the pandemic to buffer the impact on our local businesses and should be applauded."
Matthew Peter, Executive Director of the Parking Authority said, “The Albany Parking Authority is proud to partner with the City of Albany, our Business Improvement Districts and our small businesses to find creative solutions to make our city more walkable and vibrant. The City’s expanded patio program was a great success in 2020 and we are excited to see this program continue to grow.”
Georgette Steffens, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District said, “On behalf of all of our small business owners, I would like to thank the Mayor and the Albany Parking Authority for their continued creativity in finding solutions to statewide restrictions during the pandemic. The resiliency of our food industry has relied on this type of innovation, partnerships, and supportive financial assistance and programing. Through initiatives like the Extended Café Program, and many others over the course of the last year, they have shown their unwavering support for our small businesses that make up the fabric of our community.”
Central Avenue BID Executive Director Anthony Capece said, “The support of the City and APA throughout the overwhelming number of challenges this last year has been so greatly appreciated by our businesses. Every effort to create & sustain economic opportunity was certainly needed. These coordinated community-minded efforts to lend support, resources, and actions to our small businesses have been unprecedented and have sustained many who might not have been able to otherwise weather this storm. We strongly encourage businesses to continue to take advantage of the ongoing opportunities and rebuild better.”
Lark St. BID Co-Executive Director Jevan Dollard said, “The ability to partner with our local leadership to identify the needs of our small business community and come up with creative ways to provide timely, thoughtful support has proven essential throughout the pandemic. As businesses continue to re-open and recover from the unprecedented challenges of this past year, we thank Mayor Sheehan, the Albany Parking Authority, and the leadership across numerous Albany City Departments for continuing to help businesses respond and adapt to a rapidly changing environment.”