Vestibule Season has Arrived

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Photo: Eater.com

Ever notice around this time of year, a small detail about the outside of restaurant while walking down the streets of New York City? We’re talking about those acrylic and vinyl vestibules that pop up all around NYC as soon as winter hits. These vestibules are about the size and shape of a phone booth, steel-framed spring-door, and bolted to the doorway. Some have clear vinyl windows or heating elements, but they’re all essentially tiny way stations to capture the wind before you enter a restaurant. Although these may seem like a good idea, many people have their doubts. Some believe an outdoor vestibule may not do much to shield diners from the cold air if both the outer canvas door and the inner restaurant door open at the same time. There is also some question about where a restaurant’s property rights end and public space begins and whether these vestibules are even legal. Jay LoIacono, vice president of Acme Awning Co. a producer of these vestibules, told Eater that the city allows vestibules to take up sidewalk space so long as they’re removed in the spring. In other words, restaurants construct them because they can get away with it. And with a vestibule going for about $2,400 – it is a much cheaper alternative than interior renovations. To read more about New York’s fascination with vestibules click here.

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