Staten Island restaurant wins citywide honor for best outdoor dining set up
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Stapleton received double honors on Monday in a first-of-its kind review of the best outdoor dining and open streets that popped up around New York City during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Stapleton Saturdays” and Vinum on Bay Street both received honors from the “Alfresco NYC” coalition, which advocates for the city to make its Open Restaurants and Open Streets programs permanent.
“As we navigate this new normal, our team was able to pivot to provide a world class outdoor experience coupled with our award-winning authentic Italian cuisine,” Massimo Felici, owner and executive chef of Vinum said.
Vinum was one of seven restaurants citywide awarded for the best outdoor set up, and the only one from Staten Island.
In a media release, the coalition said the North Shore neighborhood’s Open Streets program provided a “wide range of programming and engagement with local businesses and institutions” that made it one of the city’s “more successful” Open Streets initiatives.
Stapleton’s Open Streets program is on Van Duzer Street between Beach and Wright streets, and was organized by the Van Duzer Street Civic Association.
The association’s president, Priscilla Marco, thanked the NYPD, Department of Sanitation, Department of Transportation, Transportation Alternatives, and the NY Center for Interpersonal Development which has provided them with interns from their Summer Youth Employment Program, for their partnership.
“The Van Duzer Street Civic Association is proud to be recognized for our efforts to bring some joy to the residents of our community through children’s activities and entertainment after a very long year,” Marco said.
“We are pleased to notice an uptick in the number of people patronizing the businesses on the block and we are also using the site as a pop up vaccination site for a month to keep our residents safe.”
The coalition described the outdoor structure at Vinum as being “neatly aligned with the curb and the street’s slope,” and as having “an elegant rustic wood exterior aesthetic” that matches the restaurant building’s exterior.
The Design Trust for Public Space, the Regional Plan Association and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign lead the coalition, which is working on design guidelines for outdoor structures that will ensure they are affordable, sustainable, and fit into the city’s public space.
A jury of journalists, business professionals, and mobility advocates chose each of the inaugural winners, which will receive $500 honorariums to acknowledge their efforts.
“Today is a celebration of outdoor dining and open streets – as well as an acknowledgement of how New Yorkers came together in one of our darkest hours to make our city more sustainable, equitable and accessible,” Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association, said.
“We congratulate all of the winners for prevailing in a stiff competition with establishments in every borough that brought creative and innovative designs to life. The winners all provide real guideposts for how outdoor dining and open streets can be implemented at their very best.”