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Corner Setup

The corner prototype roadway cafe at Sunday to Sunday may be visited at 88 Orchard Street in Manhattan.

Illustration of a corner setup
Corner setup roadway cafe with tables and chairs and an awning overhead

Overall Design

Illustration of the inside of a corner setup.The prototype at Sunday to Sunday highlights a modular design. It was developed with ease of maintenance in mind given the high traffic corner location on the Lower East Side.

Everything from the flooring to the tensile fabric overhead covering, to the modular barriers with removable outer panels speaks to the goals of creating a clean and safe roadway cafe that can be easily removed, stored in the off-season, and re-installed the following spring.


Illustration of the elements that make up a corner setup.

  1. Barrier: Contain Barrier                                    
    Metal frame that can contain water-filled receptacles during use and reduce storage weight during off-season. The barrier also has rigid angled corners for additional protection and seamlessly connects with the flooring system and overhead covering.
  2. Flooring: Metal Frame and Wood Panels                                   
    A metal frame supports standard wood decking panels which can be easily removed for cleaning. The floor overlaps the curb with a hinged diamond-plated panel providing accessibility, maintaining curb drainage, and allowing for easy cleaning.
  3. Overhead Covering: Wood Posts and Tensioned Fabric Canopy                                    
    Four-inch wood posts between barrier units support a lightweight tensioned fabric which allows for simple detachment or replacement as needed.
  4. Lighting and Electrical: Battery Powered                                    
    Individual battery packs for overhead string lighting and battery powered table lights for off-hour charging.
  5. Accessory: Custom Wood Bench                                    
    Included on the short side of the cafe with a lock for off-hour storage needs.


Process included a full mockup of the setup in SITU Fabrication's shop. Barrier modules were detached and transported in six-foot sections to site in a box truck.






Installation involved leveling of barriers and flooring support, adjustment of hinged panels over the curb, and tuning of fabric canopy for adequate drainage.

tables and chairs are ready for patrons inside a corner roadway cafe on a sunny day


A team assembles the barriers for a corner roadway cafe


A team assembles the flooring base and panels at a corner roadway cafe


Sunday to Sunday's corner roadway cafe as viewed from the roadway


Lessons Learned

For the initial installation, leveling of the setup flooring took extra time to tune to the unique slope and crown of the street. The flooring was bolted to the barriers which provided additional rigidity and safety to the overall setup. The curb height and condition changed over the length of the setup and the team modified the length of hinged panels to overlap the full width of the curb, providing accessibility.

The overhead covering needed to be adjusted after installation and was increased to approximately 40% slope for adequate shedding of rain. The tension of the canopy slightly bowed the wood posts over time. There is potential to add additional metal or wood lightweight horizontal members at the top edge to maintain these as plumb.

The team found it ideal to minimize hardware where possible. Locks, hinges, and turnbuckles are frequently broken or wear over time. These should also be easy to maintain and replace. For battery charging, comply with all safety regulations per the manufacturer and FDNY. It is recommended to charge all fixtures daily and find a designated area that is clean and dry.

Overall, the entire setup was easy for restaurant staff to learn and adopt practices for cleaning, charging, and maintaining the covering.

Evaluation is ongoing this spring and the team will post updates in early April based on performance and feedback collected throughout March. This will include an update to the design resources below.

Design Resources


The City has made available for download location specific drawings from the Dining Out NYC Setup Menu Prototype project that were prepared by a registered design professional. These location specific drawings have been made available for informational purposes only. The drawings are provided as-is, and the City of New York disclaims to the greatest extent permitted by law any and all warranties in connection with them.

Each drawing was designed and developed for a specific prototype location and may not be appropriate for other locations. Every location has unique features and site conditions, so make sure that every outdoor dining setup component you choose is appropriate for your sidewalk or roadway cafe.