K-Town Public Space Still Under Lockdown

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When the weather got nice last spring, this was the scene for Midtown Lunchers near the Empire State Building. We had a nice, out of the way outdoor space to take in the sun and eat lunch. Instead of braving the tourists and homeless in Herald Square, they could relax and get some fresh air in the “public space” behind 325 5th Avenue, the home of K! Pizzacone and future home of the new Bon Chon Chicken.

Then, in the middle of the summer, gates went up and it has been locked down ever since.

Now, it looks like this:

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With a warm weather finally passing through, I stopped in the lobby to see if there was any hope of sitting out on those spiffy wooden benches any time soon. A guard gave me some background: The area is closed while glass panes are being placed on the back of the building. Until the construction is done, it’s off-limits.

When I asked for an eta, he said there was nothing official, but he had heard it could be another four months. That’s four sad, sunless months for those of us with few other options nearby.  What are your favorite outdoor eating spaces in Midtown?  Put them in the comments so I can live vicariously through you.


  • you can always sit in front of Macy’s or one of the spaces between 6th & Broadway.

  • I try to avoid any proximity to Macy’s whenever possible. Between the tourists and the shoppers that area is a mess. It is better with the street closed off, though.

  • You can sit right on Broadway now, if you can grab a table. There are a few nice outdoor chairs just west of Park Ave between 48th and 49th too. And that other atrium between 48th/49th, I think between 6th/7th Aves, with outdoor benches and tables, and the water sculpture. Haven’t been in a while tho.

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    Sitting in those new “pedestrian plazas” is not my cup of tea — you’re not only competing with tourists for chairs, but also the homeless, who have made some of those spots a new home.

  • Thank you for doing the research on this situation. I work near there (Park & 32nd), and was counting on it as one of the few places to sit outside during lunch. Sorry to hear it’s not going to be open for a long time.

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    Best spot of this nature:

    This square between 45th and 46th and 5th and 6th. It is right by Moshe’s, Kim’s Aunt and every other cart in the area.

    Many tables and benches and a sunny environment for a summer lunch.

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