Led by Design Trust for Public Space, Regional Plan Association and Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Alfresco NYC Coalition advocates for equitable implementation of Open Restaurants and Streets across NYC. (Photo credit: Alfresco NYC Winner Salsa Stories)
Alfresco NYC – a coalition led by Design Trust for Public Space, Regional Plan Association (RPA), and Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC) – announced twelve grant winners for exemplary outdoor dining structures and Open Streets across New York City’s five boroughs.
The one-time grants of up to $10,000 will support the Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs in neighborhoods hard-hit by the pandemic across the City. Selected from over 200 submissions, the 2022 grant winners include small businesses and community groups from every borough supporting efforts to create vibrant street life including outdoor dining and cultural programming while helping to address challenges like public safety, youth employment and food insecurity.
In 2021, the coalition launched the Alfresco Awards to recognize and celebrate the city’s best outdoor dining spaces and open streets with small cash prizes. Over the past year, Alfresco NYC has led a series of roundtable conversations with stakeholders including open street operators, restaurant owners, designers, volunteers, accessibility, and mobility advocates to work through the design challenges and opportunities associated with New York City’s Open Restaurants and Open Streets program.
The coalition is now compiling research and reviewing design and policy recommendations to ensure the programs are equitable and successful. The recommendations will be published later this year.
“Over the past two years, we’ve seen our city and region adapt in ways that have centered access, equity and sustainability,” said Tom Wright, President & CEO of Regional Plan Association. “We are proud to continue supporting Open Restaurants and Open Streets, crucial initiatives that are heralding a new era of community resiliency by reimagining new, people-centric ways to utilize our sidewalks and streetscapes.”
“Open streets and open restaurants have provided a lifeline for our City throughout the pandemic and these programs play a critical role in its revitalization,'' said Renae Reynolds, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign. “We are thrilled to be able to support so many businesses and open streets that have been serving communities hardest hit by COVID throughout all five boroughs.”
“Congratulations to these business owners and community leaders that represent the best of New York’s vibrant neighborhoods and thriving street life," said Matthew Clarke, Executive Director of the Design Trust for Public Space. "Open Restaurants and Streets are just the beginning of a new approach to public space. These programs not only play a critical role in the city's character and energy, but also its long-term health and economic stability .”
Winning Open Restaurants, Streets, Storefronts and Markets
NYC’s Open Restaurants Program comprises more than 12,000 restaurants, including nearly 6,000 that have set up shop along 60 miles of car-free streets. While Open Restaurants is popular with New Yorkers, its initial expansion was concentrated in wealthier neighborhoods. Alfresco NYC continues to work with small businesses and community efforts, in a wide variety of neighborhoods, to support permanent programs for New Yorkers to enjoy.
The Alfresco Grants support a range of Open Restaurants, Open Streets, Open Storefront and Open Markets initiatives. Grants were awarded to:
Angela’s Cuisine (440 E 138th St, The Bronx): Started by Alejandro Espinosa only seven months before the onset of the pandemic, Angela’s is working to become a staple for Mexican Cuisine in The Bronx and has also received support from The Bronx Chamber of Commerce in the form of technical assistance.
Angiolina’s Restaurant(1322A Jerome Avenue, The Bronx): Also supported by The Bronx Chamber of Commerce, Angiolina’s offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and catering services.
Assembly for Chinatown (80 Elizabeth St #7M, Manhattan): Think!Chinatown and A+A+A provided services to support Open Restaurants throughout the pandemic, and want to continue their work to provide repairs and upgrading services to derelict and vandalized structures, demolition and removal services to businesses that no longer need the outdoor space, and beautification mural services to additional businesses.
CarriBbeing (Little Caribbean, Brooklyn): At Martense and Nostrand near Lips Cafe, the Little Caribbean Block Fete will feature an array of activities, musicians and educational opportunities. The event will offer a series of Little Caribbean Food + Culture educational walks and give visitors an opportunity to meet business owners and deepen their community knowledge.
Centro Cultural Barco de Papel INC (4003 80th Street, Queens): The last remaining Spanish-language bookstore in NYC. Their storefront provides outdoor space to host authors and artists for open mics and readings.
Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership (472 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn): Support for restaurants by providing microgrants to design and build outdoor dining structures along the corridor, activate public space, and joint marketing to support local businesses.
Pimpollo(32-39 Junction Blvd., Queens): A Colombian restaurant in Queens, Pimpollo is updating their sidewalk seating services with new benches for seating, and roof protection in case of rain and will put in plants and flowers to improve the ambient atmosphere of the patrons dining experience.
RISE: Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (Rockaway, Queens): Founded by the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, RISE brings residents together through community-planning efforts to engage and transform the Rockaway community. At Rockaway Freeway and Beach 60th Street, under the El, RISE will establish the Rockaway Market Street to provide a multi-vendor farmers market as part of the Wellness Way Initiative.
Red Hook Initiative (Red Hook, Brooklyn): Serving residents of Red Hook Houses, Brooklyn’s largest public housing development, RHI provides services, hosts community events, and serves food to the community weekly. At West 9th Street between Henry Street and Hicks Street, RHI will continue to support Open Streets and train residents to install and care for trees and public seating.
Salsa Stories (South Bronx): Every Friday from August 26th to October 14th at Kelly St in The Bronx, Salsa Stories will provide immersive Salsa programming to the open streets to activate open stages, and attract more people to the neighborhoods’ streets and sidewalks and advocate for accessibility improvements.
Van Duzer Street Civic Association (Staten Island): Operating an Open Street on Water Street between Wright and Bay Streets on Saturdays in June and September, the Association’s “Stapleton Saturdays” offers family friendly activities. Their work helps pedestrianize a normally busy street to connect local businesses and residents to safer open space.
W. 103 Street Open Streets Community Coalition: With a goal to create public space amenities as an opportunity to engage with and create paid opportunities for youth to be involved on the open street, W. 103 St sees the younger generation as vital to the success of open streets in Manhattan and hopes to invest in them in the same way they invested in the community throughout the pandemic.