NYC’s pop-up cafés will be back this summer

Scroll this

(video from NYC DOT)


This time-lapse shows a day in the life of a pop-up café on Sullivan Street.  A project of the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), the pop-up cafés debuted in 2010 and the program grew to include the one featured in this summer 2011 time-lapse.  The pilot program spans 2011-2012.

How does it work?

A sponsoring restaurant (the one featured above is sponsored by Local) pays for the cost of design, construction and maintenance.  The restaurant must select a design and hire a New York State licensed architect/engineer and construction team.  The design must adhere with the pop-up café design guidelines.  The approximate cost of a pop-up café is around $10,000.  DOT doesn’t make the restaurants pay for the space unless it takes up metered parking spaces.  There are a number of other guidelines and rules listed here.

The best part is…seating is open to the public.  It’s not reserved for any restaurant, not even the sponsor restaurant.  Additionally, restaurants can’t provide table service at the café, but patrons can bring food from a restaurant or from anywhere!

You can email if you would like to be notified when the 2012 application process begins or check the website for more information.