Restaurant approvals – Permits required in New York City
In order to build a restaurant in New York City many different approvals and permits are required from various municipal agencies. Each restaurant is different due to the location, capacity, and existing conditions. The following agencies and approvals are usually required:
Approval/permit for construction of all Building Dept. applications
Department of Environmental Protection
Approval for Cross Control Device
Approval/permit for food service
Department of Consumer Affairs
Sidewalk Cafe permit
In order to evaluate the required approvals/permits needed, one needs to consider a few basic questions.
Does the space have a valid Certificate of Occupancy for a restaurant and the desired number of people?
What is the existing infrastructure, i.e. is there gas service,, fire suppression system fire alarm system, etc.
Restaurant jobs that do not require a change of use are relatively easy and straight forward. If the use change is required, a new or amended certificate of occupancy will be needed. This is a time consuming and costly process. A liquor license cannot be obtained without a valid C of O or a “Letter of No Objection”. Applying to the Building department for a change of use requires a careful review of zoning, egress, and handicap accessibility laws. This type of review usually takes form six to ten weeks for review and approval.
Certain problems arise in obtaining approval for restaurants and should be considered and checked carefully prior to signing a lease.
Does the zoning permit a restaurant or desired size and capacity? Certain zones have restrictions on size of restaurant and entertainment.
What is the proposed use group? Is it a use group 6, 9 , or 12? Many zones do not permit use group 12 restaurants
Does the space provide for handicap accessibility? This must be checked for both LL58/87 and ADA.
If the restaurant is to contain more than 74 people, does it have two means of egress of sufficient capacity located remotely apart?
The ventilation of the stoves and ovens must be considered. Typically, a flue or vent stack is required that must extend to the roof of the Building containing the restaurant.