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Outdoor Public Seating Heading to Underline Coffee, Brooklyn Fare

By Maya Rajamani | April 21, 2016 3:59pm
 Public seating is making its way to the curb sides in front of a high-end Hell’s Kitchen supermarket and a coffee shop under the High Line.
Outdoor Public Seating Spots Heading To Underline Coffee, Brooklyn Fare
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CHELSEA — Public seating could be making its way to the curbsides in front of a high-end Hell’s Kitchen supermarket and a coffee shop under the High Line.

On Wednesday, Community Board 4’s transportation committee OK’d the city Department of Transportation’s plans to install “Street Seats” in front of Brooklyn Fare at 431 W. 37th St., between Ninth and 10th avenues, and Underline Coffee at 511 W. 20th St., between 10th and 11th avenues.

Since the DOT launched the “Street Seats” program — which aims to “transform underused streets into vibrant, social spaces during the warmer-weather months — in 2010, the department has installed seating areas in parking lanes in front of nine businesses in Manhattan and Brooklyn that applied, a DOT spokeswoman said.

The seating areas will each take up one parking space and will be customized based on location, DOT project manager Shari Glickman said at Wednesday’s meeting.

The “Street Seat” in front of Brooklyn Fare will consist of a curb-height platform, deck tile finish, planter boxes and moveable furniture, Glickman said.

The one in front of Underline Coffee will be a “custom” space without a platform — similar to the one in front of Hugh Jackman’s “Laughing Man Coffee & Tea” shop on Duane Street downtown, she said.

Brooklyn Fare and Underline Coffee will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining the spaces and bringing any chairs or tables set up in the space inside each night, she added.

“With the High Line… there’s a lot of traffic and visitors, [but] there is no place in the area to just sit,” a representative for Underline Coffee said at the meeting.

“People go around, walking through galleries, and there is no outdoor space.”

The seating spaces are usually set up at the beginning of March and dismantled around December, Glickman said.

Seating will be open to everyone — not just the business’ customers.

The two "Street Seat" applications will go before CB4's full board on May 4.