Giant Williamsburg dining shed is devoid of diners

Giant Williamsburg dining shed is devoid of diners


A 110-foot shed outside a Japanese restaurant in Williamsburg may be the city’s longest – annexing up to half a city block — and isn’t even open for dining.

Adding insult to annexation, Fushimi on Driggs Avenue also has a 48-foot-long companion shed around the corner on North 10th Street. The two structures have been devoid of diners for at least 10 months, one local activist said.

“I don’t know what’s going on over there. It’s just taking up space,” said Shannon Phipps with the Berry Street Alliance.

The sheds have been out of use for around 10 months.
Fushimi racked up 13 cease and desist orders over the shed.
Helayne Seidman

The restaurant racked up 13 cease and desist orders, including for using the sheds for storage; blocking a parking sign; extending onto the sidewalk; and failing to be ADA-compliant, according to the city Department of Transportation, which oversees the Open Restaurants program.

The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Removing these delinquent dining sheds — as Mayor Adams has promised — is proving to be a tall order.

On the Lower East Side, a coalition of neighborhood groups Thursday appealed to the city for help, saying many eateries “make it a practice not to cure any warnings or violations.”

Many restaurants have abandoned outdoor dining as COVID dies down.
The city vowed to demolish dining sheds that are out of use or not up to code.

Adams vowed this month that the city would enforce the regulations for the Open Restaurants program, which started during the pandemic to help the struggling industry but has faced legal challenges from residents who say it is no longer needed.

Adams helped knock down an abandoned shed and insisted, “We’re saying no to rats, no to loitering, no to illegal activities, and making sure the enforcement is in place, that it’s done right,”

The Aug. 18 press event came after The Post reported that some sheds were being used for sexual activity during off hours.

Lola Tavern has amassed 25 cease and desist orders and numerous noise complaints.
The city demolished the dining shed outside Lola Taverna on Sixth Avenue in Soho.

The city seemed to be making good on Adams’ promise on Friday when a crew began to demolish the shed outside Lola Taverna on Sixth Avenue in Soho. The restaurant has amassed 25 cease and desist orders and numerous noise complaints.

Then Lola Taverna’s owner, Cobi Levy, rode in on a white moped, placed some calls and the demolition stopped, according to a neighborhood resident who witnessed the scene.

“It’s very disappointing to see a business owner make a few phone calls, and then soon after see city agencies stop enforcing their laws and rules,” the resident said.

Levy told The Post that “I’ve been talking to the head of the DOT about this.”

“I guess wires got crossed in the city and they decided to start taking action before everyone was on the same page and that’s why it got paused. But it’s a pause. Definitely not a stop,” he insisted.

The DOT said the shed, which is in a No Standing zone, would be removed next week and that its primary goal was to get non compliant structures into compliance.

“For two weeks, we have been consistently removing abandoned outdoor dining sheds across the city, and we will continue working towards a permanent Open Restaurants program that all New Yorkers can be proud of,” said DOT spokesman Vincent Barone.


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