The party will be back on the streets this summer with the upcoming return of the popular Vanderbilt Ave. Open Street.
Starting Friday, April 1, Vanderbilt Ave. will close to traffic from Atlantic Ave. to Park Place to welcome those in the community to eat, drink, play, dance and enjoy the buzzing stretch of Brooklyn without the cars.
Much like last year, the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council and the New York City Department of Transportation will be responsible for community engagement and local business support.
The Open Streets program, which runs citywide, began as an emergency relief program for small businesses during the pandemic, offering restaurants, cafés and bars a new way to attract customers.
Since then, the program has grown and this year was made a permanent fixture in the city’s summer landscape.
Ellen Fishman, the owner of Vanderbilt Ave.’s Amorina Cucina Rustica, said the program had helped to increase the restaurant’s income significantly and allowed it to keep employees.
“The program not only brought back many of our customers but brought us many new ones,” Fishman said.
According to PHNDC, a key priorities of the program are also safety and community-building.
“Layering upon last year’s successes, the all-volunteer management team remains focused on improving logistical support, increasing clear signage directing pedestrians and cyclists, and ensuring accessibility for emergency vehicles,” the organization said in a press release.
Last year’s programming include folk singers, brass bands, West African musicians, bicycle-riding demonstrations, community painting activities and the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus – which will return July 9.
The Vanderbilt Open Street will be in effect every from Friday from 5:00-10:00pm and Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays from 12:00pm-10pm from April 1 until November 20. To learn more or volunteer, please visit VanderbiltAvenue.org. To support Vanderbilt Open Streets, please visit the GoFundme.