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Setup Menu

The Dining Out NYC Setup Menu offers design options for food service establishments to create compliant outdoor dining cafes. It offers options, such as barriers, flooring, overhead coverings, and more.

For almost a year the City worked with a multi-disciplinary team to design, fabricate, install, and test modular, safe, and compliant roadway cafes at a variety of street conditions. The Setup Menu is the culmination of this work. 

Explore the prototypes below! 

The Setup Menu is optional. If you would like to build your own sidewalk or roadway cafe, review the requirements in our interactive Setup Guide.

Video description: New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, Chief of Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu and Sunday to Sunday café owner/operator Gurpreet Singh sit in an outdoor dining roadway café talking. Clips of people building the cafe they are sitting in and the different features of the structure like ramps and lights. Text on screen reads: Dining out N Y C’s setup menu provides a suite of options for restaurants to design their own modular, safe, and accessible setups. Visit n y c dot gov slash dining out to learn more.

Setup Menu Design Options

These prototypes were developed to test a range of components and have been installed at various locations in NYC, including a: corner, mid-block, floating parking lane, and a steep slope.

The Team

City Team: NYC DOT, Deputy Mayor for Operations and Chief Public Realm Officer, NYC Public Design Commission, NYC Economic Development Corporation       
Planning/Design: WXY Architecture + Urban Design       
Design/Fabrication: SITU Studio and SITU Fabrication       
Structural Engineering: Silman Structural Solutions, a TYLin Company       
Lighting Design: Sighte Studio       
Restaurant Engagement: Nikoa Evans

What did we test?

The City identified four typologies – a corner setup, a mid-block setup, a floating parking lane setup, and a steep street setup – so that the prototypes could accommodate the various street conditions food service establishments might encounter. The locations also afforded a variety of restaurant types and sizes, confirming that even with a frontage as narrow as 14 feet a successful roadway cafe is possible. Each prototype was developed to test different approaches to the major design features: barriers, flooring, overhead coverings, screening, electrical/lighting, and furnishings. 

Building on lessons learned from the temporary outdoor dining program, the design team worked closely with the restaurants at each location conceiving multiple design options and incorporating feedback to arrive at the final design. That design was further refined by the fabricator and evaluated by a structural engineer before being built in the team's shop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The fabrication and installation process yielded important lessons that have been incorporated into updated designs. Evaluation of each prototype is on-going, and the team is incorporating revisions to the designs based on real-world experience and real-world wear and tear.

The designs developed for the Setup Menu and the lessons learned from fabricating and installing the four prototypes serve as a starting point for food service establishments and those looking to build roadway cafes. These location specific designs are provided so that food service establishments and the design and fabrication industry can build on this work to create safe, maintainable, and compliant setups as part of the Dining Out NYC Program!


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.