The new look of al fresco in the city

Dining al fresco in the city has a whole new look, and what Laughing Man did years ago — and what seemed so odd at the time — can now be spotted on nearly every street in the neighborhood. I haven’t counted them, but it seems there are now a good dozen ways to eat and drink on the streets (thanks to Robert Ripps for capturing a bunch here).

I’ve always enjoyed the seating at Laughing Man, but that is one of Tribeca’s quieter blocks. Will have to take the middle of Murray or Hudson for a spin sometime soon.



  1. It appears that 6′ apart is being interpreted differently by each establishment. Is it 6′ from table center to tablecenter? Or 6′ distance from the back of each occupied chair to its nearest?

    • I was questioning that as well as I was walking around looking at the newly built spaces. It definitely looks like some restaurants are not spacing tables 6 feet apart. Cant say that I blame them since that would really limit the number of tables. I’ll take my chances to be able to eat out!

      • You will take the chance to be able to eat out?
        Hmm, well haven’t you perfectly summed up what
        is wrong with the recovery in this country as a whole
        A virus doesn’t have an opinion; it just spreads until
        it is stopped.

  2. I think, not sure but fairly certain, that the laughing man space is a designated public park space, and not something Laughing Man did or took. It was an old ordinance, I believe. Having said that, as much as I like to see the restaurants opening up their spaces and spreading out, is it legit? Or is the outdoor space something they’ve taken upon themselves to claim, at the cost of street parking? Does anyone know?

    • It is an executive order by the mayor. See this post.

    • @Vale, you’re right that Laughing Man’s “street corral” (that’s the city’s name for that type of usage) was officially approved and installed pursuant to actual regs. I testified in favor, some years back.

      But I have to laugh when you refer to the corral’s space as “something [LM has] taken upon themselves to claim, at the cost of street parking.” Anyone can sit there, LM customer or not. Can’t say the same for space occupied by parked cars.

      • Correct. The Laughing Man Street Seats are technically open to all and not (supposed to be) a private cafe. The roadway seating just approved is not a space open to all but is to be a private cafe.

  3. Me too. Done with doing dishes.

  4. What happens if it starts pouring in the middle of the meal?

    • If it starts pouring rain you sit it out or pay the bill and go home…
      I would think a “Tribeca Mom” would have this kind of common sense.

  5. These “diners without masks” are not CDC-approved 6ft apart from one another, so they’re NO different than the throngs of covididiots storming the beaches, etc. I certainly feel for the businesses being hurt by the pandemic, but I refuse to be a covididiot to the reality of the potential spread and HOW the F**KING spread happens. Or…#IamWILLINGtoDIEorIamWILLINGto DIE soTHATothersCANhaveSOMEdamnODEON!!

  6. Brandy Library is open!

  7. It seems to me as if there is no monitoring of how this is being implemented. Some restaurants are respectful of their neighbors while others have expanded way beyond what seems fair. The Odeon which already had outdoor seating has now taken over the space in front and on the side of their restaurant. It is very difficult to walk past the restaurant with all the people milling about on the sidewalk. They have also seized 5-6 public parking spots to put more tables. Will the city open up the no parking restrictions to accommodate those who have vehicles and cannot afford garage fees? What about deliveries, bike lanes and noise? Restaurants have suffered but they are not the only group with losses and better management is needed to make this work for all.

  8. if a restaurant normally has 100 seats over all will 30 outdoor seats cove their expenses? Not enough and then the wind and rain came.

  9. I think a lot of this comes down to personal choice and responsibility. Do you get groceries delivered or do you go to the store. I think most New Yorkers are following the rules. If you go to a restaurant and you do not feel they have tables far enough apart or are not following CDC and NY’s guidelines, don’t eat there. As far as taking up parking space, I’m all for the restaurants trying to re-establish their businesses. If we lose a few parking spaces, so be it. If lots of establishments close due to lack of business, that will hurt our community. Meanwhile TriBeCa seems pretty quiet to me most days.