New York turns Times Square into al fresco dining area
Saturday 02 April 2011
New York City is set to turn its most famous, bustling town square into a giant fluorescent-lit, sidewalk café.
According to the New York Post, visitors will be able to place a take-out order to nearby restaurants from their chair and dine al fresco in Times Square's pedestrian plaza which currently seats 350 and has 100 tables.
The epicenter of New York City attracts 350,000 visitors daily, many of whom are international visitors drawn to the tourist mecca.
More than 47 million tourists visited New York City in 2008 - 80 percent of whom visited Times Square.
The area is a concentration of fast-food restaurants and chain outlets like Applebee's, McDonald's, T.G.I Friday's and the Olive Garden.
Restaurant Row, on 46th Street between Broadway and 9th Avenue, is also touted as the "United Nations" of dining, with cuisine ranging from Italian, French, Russian, Thai, Spanish, and American lining the three-block stretch.
The neighborhood is home to the oldest restaurant in New York, Barbetta, which opened in 1906 and is still run by the same family. Celebrity chef Lidia Bastianich also has a restaurant in the area, Becco.
The city is currently looking for vendors to take orders and deliver the food to visitors, as the program is set to start this summer.
Dining smack dab in the epicenter of Times Square would be another activity to checkmark off tourists' to-do lists. Currently, Bryant Park is a popular lunching area for locals who work in nearby office towers.
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