New Pop-Up Cafés Invite Patrons to Eat in Traffic


If you’re the type who feels that sitting at a sidewalk café doesn’t give you quite enough access to exhaust fumes and the specter of screeching tires, then Janette Sadik-Khan has got your back.

The New York Post reports that the city’s transportation commissioner, who typically bides her time paving bike lanes and setting up lawn chairs in the middle of Times Square, has green-lighted the applications for 12 pop-up cafés whose tables and chairs will extend six feet into New York’s streets. Final approval falls to the neighborhood community boards.

This means that for some lucky diners, digestion will be accompanied by thrills both olfactory and existential: Will that SUV driver stop texting long enough to avoid plowing into the appetizers? Does biodiesel have a different bouquet than plain diesel? Do motorists on Seventh Avenue have a more pronounced death wish than those on Fifth Avenue?

Patrons of the Housing Works Bookstore Café, Le Pain Quotidien, and Salume may soon have the chance to find out: Those are three of the establishments that have submitted applications. Expect a litany of Last Supper jokes to follow.

Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to