Starting May 17th, New York’s bars and restaurants can keep their outdoor areas open past midnight. They’ll be able to do the same for their indoor dining areas starting May 31st. Governor Cuomo announced the upcoming curfew lift on Wednesday, April 28th, although he did not specify when bars and restaurants will be required to close down for the night in the future. Before the pandemic, many of NYC’s bars officially closed as late as 4am.
If you have become increasingly hermit-like and are wondering what a moonlit outside world even looks like, the current curfew requires bars and restaurants to shut down all of their dining spaces at midnight.
NEW: Beginning May 17, the 12am outdoor dining area curfew for bars & restaurants will be lifted.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 28, 2021
The 12am indoor area curfew will be lifted on May 31.
This announcement marks a big week for restaurant restriction loosening. The governor also said that seating at bars can resume in New York City starting Monday, May 3rd as long as seats are properly spaced and all other state protocols are met. Which is good news for anyone who likes to read books at bars and look mysterious.
On Tuesday this week, the New York State Legislature noted they would no longer require customers to order food with the purchase of alcohol. Meaning you don’t need to buy a bag of sour cream and onion Lays with your paloma anymore. That policy reversal still needs to be approved by the state government (which is expected to happen over the next few days).
Restaurant industry groups have consistently advocated for curfew loosening over the past several months of the pandemic. As early as January, the New York State Restaurant Association made a statement demanding that the state extend the city’s outdoor dining curfew from 10pm to 12am. They argued that this would avoid having to rush customers out by 9pm in order to fully shut down by 10pm.
Whether or not these loosened restrictions change your social plans, we have guides for whatever comfort level you’re at right now. From where to meet someone for exactly 1 hour so you can go home and be alone again, to a guide to the best places to pick up snack on your way to a Central Park hang, and the most fun bars in New York City right now.
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