NEW YORK - Avena Downtown Osteria in Greenwich Village is one of the many spots that's now open for outdoor dining.

What You Need To Know

  • Restaurants are allowed to serve customers outside.

  • Restaurateurs implement new safety precautions.

  • Businesses are applying for extra sidewalk space to place their tables.

Giselle Deiaco's staff at the restaurant was bustling before the pandemic, with 16 employees but now with Phase Two, she's back at 50 percent.

They offered take out at the beginning of April and free food to those in need in the neighborhood.  Now she's focusing on, well, the now with strict safety protocols in place.

“We purchased all the PPEs, a lot of soap, masks, the plastic shields,” Deiaco said.

Through it all, Deiaco provided a weekly allowance to her employees to help them get by.

“Through it all I see the glass half full you have to get up you have to get open you have to show up you have to show up for your neighbors,” Deiaco said.

The owners of Avena Downtown Osteria are using the reopening guidelines to beautify their restaurant they just bought all these flowers and greenery to help social distance the tables.

But for some, dining al fresco can be a challenge.

"For one thing I don't think everyone will wear a mask and I don't want to ask people to do that,” said one diner.

Italian spot PastaEater recently got the green light for extra tables on their nearby sidewalk - a small victory in this devastating time.

“It’s very very hard to survive in the business," PastaEater owner Luigi Cetrulo said.

The restaurant transitioned into a grocery store during the pandemic. Business suffered, down nearly 90-percent. For Cetrulo, this second act is personal.

“This is a restaurant right but for me it’s my home it’s like my house when a customer come in it’s like my family,” Cetrulo said.