In recognition of the contributions that restaurants provide to the health of the local economy, Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar and the town board have launched an initiative to allow patrons to dine outdoors through the issuance of a temporary outdoor dining permit. The State Liquor Authority has agreed to fast-track liquor licenses and the Suffolk County Department of Health has authorized temporary outdoor seating, not to exceed overall maximum seating capacity.
The permit is available to establishments holding a valid use permit and will expire on December 31.
“It is intended to allow restaurants to safely increase operations while maintaining appropriate social distancing protocols as mandated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health,” Aguiar said in a statement. “A fire inspection will be made prior to granting the permit. We anticipate restaurant reopening to be moved to Phase Two, and ask all restaurants to commence on following all the reopening protocols.” It is currently slated for Phase 3 of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening plan.
Councilwomen Jodi Giglio and Catherine Kent have been tasked with coordinating the effort.
Applications for the permits can be accessed through the town website at www.townofriverheadny.gov, the Riverhead Business Improvement District Management Association, and the Riverhead Chamber of Commerce websites. In addition, applications may be submitted to the Riverhead Building Department at 201 Howell Avenue, Riverhead, NY, 11901. Business owners can call 631-727-3200 or visit the website to answer additional questions.
“Applications will also be accepted virtually,” Aguiar said. “All applications will be fast-tracked.”
Prior to the issuance of a temporary outdoor dining permit, all applicants must complete and submit an online business affirmation to the state. A COVID-19 Reopening Safety Plan must be completed and retained on premises. The forms must be made available upon request by the Department of Health and/or local health or safety authorities in the event of an additional inspection. Both documents may be located at www.forward.ny.gov/phase-one-industries.