The temporary pedestrian mall that appeared in summer 2009, blocking vehicle traffic in order "to improve mobility and safety," was made permanent by 2010. The next phase will include waitstaff, table service and/or meal delivery.
The Times Square Alliance, the City's licensed manager of the new permanent pedestrian plaza on Broadway in Times Square, has issued two request for proposals (RFPs) for food and beverage service and delivery service in the public plazas. Responses are due on April 15.
No permanent restaurants would be built in the plaza. Rather, according to TSA, "a kiosk or a table and tent for an existing restaurant" would be welcome. Don't expect to be run down by a hot-dog cart when this happens: Mobile carts or food trucks are not allowed.
The RFP also indicated that "a bike can be used to deliver food from a permitted location and comply with traffic rules. It cannot be a bike delivery service; it must be tied to an existing permitted location."
For food delivery service, "proposers should provide a unified concept and design of a food delivery service from multiple restaurants to the seating areas on the Plaza. The Proposer must act as an intermediary to coordinate a menu service from a variety of restaurants." The lease term of this RFP is seasonal, running Memorial Day Weekend through November. Beer and wine may be permitted if the proper license is obtained, according to TSA. The selection committee will comprise TSA staff, TSA board members and DOT.
For more information, visit timessquarenyc.org.
The Times Square Alliance (TSA) is a Business Improvement District (BID) with a district management agreement with the city of New York and is "responsible for the overall well-being and continual rejuvenation of the Times Square area." The TSA "has worked over the past 16 years to promote a clean, safe and vibrant place through supplemental public safety and sanitation services, tourism, constituency outreach, events, communications, as well as advocacy on policy, planning and design issues."
The district covers most of the territory from West 40th Street to West 53rd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues, as well as Restaurant Row (46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue). It includes all 39 Broadway theatres; the headquarters of major media and broadcast companies, law firms and corporate headquarters as well as one-quarter of all hotel rooms in Manhattan.
Times Square is one of the biggest pedestrian plazas in New York City. The plaza consists of approximately 10 separate areas (Plaza), which extends from Broadway and 7th Avenue between 41st and 47th Street and features tables and chairs, benches, planters and "distinctive pavement treatment" (painted/treated walk areas or bike lanes).