Sidewalk Cafes Conquer City's Sunday Brunch Ban

By Meredith Hoffman on June 27, 2013 11:34am 

GREENPOINT — Early risers craving Sunday morning waffles, omelettes and mimosas can finally get their fix without leaving the sidewalk — the controversial brunch ban is coming to an end.

The decades-old bill requiring New York restaurants to wait until noon to open their sidewalk seating was struck down by the City Council Wednesday night, after several popular North Brooklyn eateries were targeted last year for serving too early.

"We’ve been dealing with it for so long we’re happy to be back to business as usual," said restaurant Five Leaves' general manager Dan Sabo of the crackdown spearheaded by Williamsburg and Greenpoint's Community Board 1. "Theres obviously a loss of revenue due to not being able to seat outside...but the biggest bummer is watching people stand around and wait while we set up."

The new legislation — which will allow sidewalk seating at 10 a.m. Sundays and must be signed by the Mayor to take effect — spoke directly to New Yorkers' desires for morning munching, said Council Member Stephen Levin, who fought for the change.

“This law has been on the books for far too long and does not reflect the reality that New Yorkers eat brunch before noon on Sundays, they prefer brunch to lunch, and that they are hungry to eat brunch outdoors," he said. "The time for waffling has passed and today the City Council stands resolute in their support of brunch."

 

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