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NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s next target: Street cafes

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs has given notice to 17 restaurants that offer sidewalk cafe dining: Stop the outdoor service.

"Please be advised you have 100 business days from, and including May 1, to complete one of the following options," the agency, which operates under Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration, said in a statement, reported by The New York Post.

Option No. 1: Provide the city with a "certified land survey" to prove the cafe business is conducted on private property. Option No. 2: Filing for an exemption of zoning law. Or Option No. 3: Surrender the business permit and close up the outdoor shop, The Post reported.

At least one diner characterized Mr. Bloomberg's newest target as ludicrous, The Post reported.

"That's ridiculous," said Jane Lowe, dining at Saint Ambroeus' outside care, in The Post. "That would take away the cultural image of the West Village."

And business owners are worried, The Post said.

"I don't know what to do," said Chel Seng, Sushi Choshi owner, in The Post. "It will affect us. It's very busy in the summer. It's a main reason people come — to sit outside."

Lawyers with the firm that's been contacted to represent the restaurant owners say the zoning crackdown could lead to closings.

"The owners are panicked," said Joseph Levey, with Helbraun, Levey & Odonoghue, in The Post.

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