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Glen Cove OKs ordinance on street closures to help expand outdoor dining options

Restaurants on the closed streets in Glen Cove

Restaurants on the closed streets in Glen Cove must apply to the city for a free permit and provide a sketch showing where they intend to set up their tables. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Glen Cove has made permanent a pandemic policy that shut down two stretches of downtown streets to allow for outdoor dining for six months of the year.

The Glen Cove City Council approved the new ordinance, called "Glen Cove Downtown Summer Nights," at its April 27 meeting.

Mayor Timothy Tenke said the policy began with a temporary order last year during the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down indoor dining to stem the spread of the virus.

"There were the restrictions on the amount of people that you could have inside, and it allowed more people to be outside to be served," Tenke said in an interview Monday. "It was such a success … we decided to make it a permanent thing in Glen Cove."

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from May 1 to Oct. 31, weather permitting, the city will shut down two central downtown streets: School Street from Highland Street to Glen Street, and Glen Street from School Street to Pulaski Street. The closures will start at 6 p.m. and end at 11 p.m.

Restaurants on the closed streets must apply to the city for a permit and provide a sketch showing where they intend to set up their tables. There is no charge for the permit.

The northern limit at Highland Street on School Street was set there to allow for ambulances to have unencumbered access to the Regency at Glen Cove, an assisted living facility on School Street north of the street closure.

"For the restaurants in Glen Cove, expanded outdoor seating has been incredibly popular throughout last year with guests," Melissa Fleischut, president and chief executive of the New York Restaurant Association, a trade group, told Newsday on Monday.

Fleischut said the city’s permanent outdoor dining policy is "going to be a real help for the restaurants that are trying to build their businesses back and regain sales that they’ve lost."

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