The Double-Decker Dining Shed on East 4th Street that Almost Happened

Posted on: August 2nd, 2021 at 5:14 am by

Photo: LES Dwellers

The dining shed as we know it is moving on up. Literally.

Outside the Izakaya NYC on East 4th Street, workers were spotted assembling a double-decker dining shed on Friday morning. Complete with stairs, second floor, and astroturf. With the mezzanine at eye level with the first-floor apartments. By the evening, word was out and opposition swift.

While admittedly outside their “jurisdiction,” the construction drew immediate ire from the Lower East Side Dwellers, the whistle-blowing block association guarding Hell Square. Their tweet – “What the actual f***? A 2 Floor shed being built!” – is what set off a firestorm that culminated in the cessation of work. All within twenty-four hours.

The elaborate structure even caught the attention of Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who tweeted, “This is insane.”

According to the New York Post, owner Yudai Kanayama was ordered to immediately remove the second level of the structure to avoid fines. DOT further confirmed to the paper that “two-story outdoor dining structures are not allowed under the Open Restaurants program.”

“The unregulated and self-certified sheds are a public safety hazard,” Diem Boyd of the LES Dwellers said in a statement. “It is time for DOT to do its job! It must inspect all current sheds, terminate self-certification, and adopt regulations and rules that will bring back safety and order to our sidewalks and streets.”

With City Council well aware, will this Wild West be tamed?

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