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Archive for July, 2011

Jul 26
Tuesday

Beyoğlu Authorities Turn the Tables on Outdoor Seating

Filed under News


Late afternoon on Sofyalı Sokak, the restaurant-crowded street in Beyoğlu’s Asmalımescit district, is usually happy hour – two-for-one tequila shots, rakı glasses clinking, half-liters of Efes hoisted. But today, in the aftermath of a Beyoğlu-wide crackdown on outside seating that left the street bare of a single place to sit outside, the scene was palpably unhappy. (The “before and after” photo above is of Sofyalı Sokak.)

Since the indoor smoking ban went into effect, outdoor seating has become even more prized on this street, a hot destination for revelry. While most businesses held permits for their outdoor seating area, violations of the space were clearly rampant. Over the past year, tables seemed to multiply like mushrooms overnight until finally, pedestrians were forced to pass in a single-file line between the gauntlet of tables filled with diners, drinkers and smokers.

But this afternoon, police and municipal inspectors swept through, confiscating outdoor furniture and ordering the demolition of decks built outside of restaurants. A pile of rubble, previously a deck, stood just downhill from the stylish House Café, while across the street waiters worked frantically with crowbars to remove a particularly permanent-looking structure. Continue…


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