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Shack attack: Lucky bar wrecks its shed

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | On Wednesday night, they smashed the sidewalk shed/pagoda to bits outside Lucky bar on Avenue B. It wasn’t done out of anger but in honor of owner Abby Ehmann’s birthday — and in response to the city’s new outdoor dining regulations set to go into effect this summer.

There will now be a permit fee associated with having outdoor dining and, in Lucky bar’s case, paying that cost didn’t make sense.

There is a license fee of $1,050 to participate in the program for four years for either roadway or sidewalk cafes — or $2,100 for both. In addition, because Lucky is in the program’s Zone B, the bar would have to pay an annual revocable consent fee of $14 per square foot to operate a roadway dining spot, which could come to more than $2,000 per year. (A sidewalk cafe would cost $18 per square foot.) The program divides the city into four zones, each with a different fee. The east side of Avenue B at that spot actually is in a cheaper zone.

People were mainly just using the former pagoda for smoking anyway, plus the bar sports a backyard where patrons can hang.

(Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
Lucky bar’s owner Abby Ehmann, cutting the cake, celebrated her birthday in tandem with wrecking the shed. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)

The Department of Transportation began accepting applications for the new program, dubbed Dining Out NYC, in early March. The scheme features revised rules, including no permanent structures in the street.

All restaurants and bars now in the temporary Open Restaurants program must apply by Aug. 3 to keep their right to have outdoor dining setups.

“STOMP,” the Avenue B version. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
(Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
(Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
The jig is up for the pagoda — using a jig saw to dismantle the structure. (Photo by Sarah Ferguson)
(Photo by Sarah Ferguson)

Dining Out NYC sports a revised application process, with a stricter review period of up to six months. Once approved, restaurants have 30 days to comply with the new design guidelines.

An illustration of an allowable design for a street curb-lane dining spot under the new regulations. The structures must be unenclosed, with maximum length and width generally supposed to be no more than 40 feet and 8 feet, respectively. Umbrellas, tents and plastic domes are all allowed. (
An illustration of acceptable design for a sidewalk cafe under the new regulations. (

Cafes in the curbside street lane will be permitted for two-thirds of the year, from April through November.

Sidewalk cafes will be allowed year-round.


  1. I------m I------m May 24, 2024

    its a start to cleaner streets…..

  2. DuchessofNYC DuchessofNYC May 24, 2024

    I think they also have to buy the temporary sidewalk structure and figure out a place to put it during the winter…

  3. Choresh Wald Choresh Wald May 24, 2024

    The people who will park their cars there now will pay an annual fee of $0

    • Lin Lin May 24, 2024

      Actually quite a few restaurant owners/managers drive in and park.

      • Choresh Wald Choresh Wald May 24, 2024

        For free

  4. Carol Frances Yost Carol Frances Yost May 23, 2024

    It’s not fun to see a pretty shed demolished.

    • Abby Ehmann Abby Ehmann June 2, 2024

      Oooh! Thank you, Carol! We did love our little gazebo! But the city says it’s time for them to go! We wanted to get a jump on it (and celebrate my birthday) before it was a mad crunch (heh-heh) to hire demolition teams and 1-800-GOT-JUNK! August will be madness!

  5. Pete Pete May 23, 2024

    $2,000 a year is nothing.

  6. dianna2ns dianna2ns May 23, 2024

    “People were mainly just using the former pagoda for smoking anyway…”, which is common throughout the city and negated the original purpose of providing a safe space for dining during the pandemic. Now that business owners have to pay a license fee, they’re not so willing to do that in order to provide a “hangout” space for their patrons that yields them no income.

    • Abby Ehmann Abby Ehmann June 2, 2024

      It wasn’t my customers using it to smoke, it was customers of the illegal smoke shop next door, jeopardizing my liquor license. Between that and rolling joints, eating food they’d gotten elsewhere (like the churches or the park), or sleeping in there, it was just too much of a responsibility. We’re sad to see it go but also relieved!

  7. JJ JJ May 23, 2024

    Love Abby! Love Lucky! Both being the best of New York…

    • Abby Ehmann Abby Ehmann June 3, 2024

      Oops, that thank you comment was meant to be a thank you to YOU!

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