Da Claudio’s outdoor dining is closed by the city

After being hounded by city inspectors for opening on the far side of Ann Street (since the street is so narrow and parking is only on the south side) owners Linda and Claudio Marini have decided to close Da Claudio temporarily, unless the city can figure out a space for them on the otherwise deserted block. Here’s what the street looks like now:

And here is the equally deserted Theatre Alley, right next to the restaurant:

Da Claudio is the one restaurant open on the street and one of the few places offering a little action in the area. And they were busy — Linda had been able to bring back 21 of her 32 staff members. AND they had gotten the green light from several DOT inspectors over the past weeks. Some had ok’ed their set up, but then another inspector would come the next day and issue a violation. The final blow came with a cease and desist on the 13th.

“I kept on reaching out to the city, but the DOT is so confused themselves — they gave us a lot of conflicting guidance,” said Linda. “But no one got back to me, when I asked in advance. So I just kept moving forward. I just carried on.”

When she announced the closing on her personal Facebook page, patrons and neighbors freaked out, and suddenly the city came calling. But the problem is not yet fixed — and no elected official seems to be able to make headway either. So her staff is in a holding pattern, and she is left to wait to see if the city can come up with a solution. There has to be some flexibility she notes (see The Hideaway’s similar issue here) if they want to help the people who are crucial to the city’s recovery.

“This is what it is like for small businesses — we are not given the support or the credit,” Linda said. “There’s no way I can survive on deliveries alone when everyone else can offer outdoor dining. And there is no definitive answer on when we might reopen inside. So give me my spot outside. Who am I bothering? No one.”

She paused and made this very salient point.

“How can the city afford this? How can it afford to say no to New Yorkers who want to help the city build up again?”



  1. Where is CM Chin in all of this? She seemingly isn’t advocating for any of the issue sof the day from the Chinatown night market idea, to the NYPD blocking off public space by the precincts / City Hall Park, to DOT’s constant incompetence on outdoor dining.

    I have tried calling her office a few times (including this morning) and no one answers.

    • Your complaint resonates with me. May I suggest that if you’re on Twitter, you post it there as well, tagging CM Chin? Her Twitter account is @CM_MargaretChin. Let us know what ensues. Thx.

    • I sent Margaret Chin’s office a long message through FaceBook urging them to find a solution and fast. They wrote back to me that they were on it…whatever that means. There is plenty of sidewalk on the corner a bit further down from DaClaudio that has a vacant store on it. They could set up there, as I’m sure no one will rent that spot anytime soon. It’s absolutely ridiculous to not give them the spot across the way, especially since the businesses on the other side didn’t seem to complain. it’s City Government at its worse. And you’re right, the area around Theater Alley is suffering. Shame.

    • I’m in agreement, except the police blocking streets. The chosen street blockades I support 100%.

      Want to provide an easy vehicle entry and exit from the Holland Tunnel & Brooklyn bridge – not to mention West side hgwy & the FDR – for another night of bridge-and-tunnel led SOHO destruction, looting & anarchy? Go ahead. Take the barricades and police off the streets and announce open season.

      That’s the worst solution for small business owners and downtown residents IMO.

      Look I’m frustrated with unnecessary police brutality. It must stop. I completely support peaceful protesting for groups to have their collective causes voiced and heard. But, Anarchy? No. That’s why we have police. To protect, serve and remain order.

      I for one, am happy and grateful we have our 1st Precinct making decisions that help protect our community.

  2. DeBlasio is destroying small businesses and the entire city. Shame on him – he should resign. 32 staff members and a lovely family hurting for something that can be easily rectified. Shame, shame, shame DeBlahBlah….

  3. Council Member Chin has been fighting actively on our behalf. However, the city needs to see what the block now looks like now that we are closed. The neighboring businesses have also suffered. Theatre Alley is now overflowing with garbage. Is this what the Mayor wants???

  4. Chin is useless unless it is an opportunity to get a photo in the newspaper or Cable TV

  5. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Chop House has 3 dining pavilions that extend past their building, blocking tons of parking, plus street tables blocking the sidewalk, and are serving in the park between them and 8 Spruce. People I know on the CB say that they can’t do anything because of city inspector corruption. We just keep putting in 311 complaints with photos, reaching out to Chin’s office, and the press. There was no issue with Da Claudio’s seating – nobody parks there at night at the street is generally empty. WTF?

  6. Margaret Chin has all but checked out of representing her district. After that fiasco concerning the jail, she has helped no one including the people of Chinatown. Her only concerns are the for the seniors of the community. Rothenberg is correct because there is an article stating which City Council Members respond to a photo op and which one listens to the people of the community. Guess who responds to a photo op? Small Businesses are suffering and she is no where to be found. Her chief of staff Gigi Li is running for her seat next year so remember that.

  7. FYI, NOT our Trash! We’ve been closed for almost three weeks but that garbage is there daily, my staff has been bagging up 25 Park Row’s trash for months since the pandemic so I do not get fined on top of all our astronomical losses!!! This is just NOT OK.

    NYC, we can do better, blocks from the Mayor’s Office.