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Mid-Block Setup

The mid-block prototype roadway cafe at Warique may be visited at 90-04 37th Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens.

diagram of a roadway dining cafe in front of a small food service establishment
Inside of mid-block setup features tabled and chairs and a built-in bench.

Overall Design

Illustration of the inside of the mid-block setup.The prototype at Warique, located in Jackson Heights along 37th Avenue, was the perfect opportunity to showcase a design for a narrow restaurant frontage.

At only 14 feet long by 8 feet wide, the team developed a compact design with integrated seating and a panelized roof system. Hinged floor panels easily lift to allow for cleaning and the barrier design allows for simple storage in the off season.


Illustration of the mid-block setup's components.

  1. Barrier: Nested Contain Barrier   
    Metal frame with bolted Marine Grade Plywood sheathing. Each barrier module is made of two welded parts that slide into each other for easier storage. Hard plastic and collapsible water containers are used as weight infill.
  2. Flooring: Metal Frame and Wood Panels   
    The aluminum structure is bolted to the barrier modules. Wood flooring panels are connected in sets of three and hinged with an included kickstand for easy access and cleaning.
  3. Overhead Covering: Aluminum Posts and Framed Rigid Polycarbonate Panels   
    Aluminum posts are bolted between barrier units and support lightweight aluminum framed rigid polycarbonate panels.
  4. Vertical Screening: Diagonal Wood Lattice Panel   
    A painted wood lattice panel along the street side is connected to the aluminum support posts for the overhead covering.
  5. Lighting and Electrical: Hardwired Connection to Restaurant   
    Three layers of lighting is provided with pendant lights, accent lighting along the vertical screening, and battery powered table lights. A ceiling fan was included in the design for added summer comfort.
  6. Accessory: Custom Wood Bench   
    A custom, integrated, wood bench runs along the setup length.


Process included a full mockup of the setup in SITU Fabrication's shop. All components were detached for transportation including the rigid roof panels.

Fabrication of the mid-block structure.


Overhead covering of the mid-block structure.


Wood components of the mid-block setup.


a cafe's flooring frame with a floorboard propped open inside a studio space



Installation involved leveling of barriers and flooring support, adjustment of hinged panels over the curb, and installation of hardwired connection to restaurant by a licensed electrician.

Wooden floor panels that can be lifted.


Black tables and chairs inside the mid-block setup.


Street view of the mid-block setup.


A blue bag filled with water sits inside a barrier for a roadway cafe


Lessons Learned

To address the narrow restaurant frontage and maximize seating, the team used a built-in bench on the long street-facing barrier and used lightweight tables and chairs for flexibility. Similar to the Corner Prototype, the full platform is accessible via a hinged diamond-plate connector that rests on the curb. This design, with some modification, also allows for greater siting flexibility; expanding or collapsing in dimension to meet the site constraints.

The team opted for a peaked overhead covering with the closed end on the street side to block the late afternoon sun. Testing a rigid overhead covering at this location, the team selected polycarbonate panels. The units needed to be sealed with tape on the top and bottom edges to protect from weather. To help with thermal comfort the team used a light-colored translucent panel for the roof for less solar heat gain and located an outdoor-rated ceiling fan in the center.

To achieve a hardwired connection and span the 17 foot distance from the curb to the restaurant frontage, the team developed a modular aluminum channel to make the connection.

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 are 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.