The battle for and against outdoor dining structures rages on. This weekend it was reported that opponents of the “COVID sheds” were heading to the Supreme Court to get them taken down. On 10th Avenue, one wrap-around structure was demolished this Sunday afternoon — revealing a much-loved Hell’s Kitchen mural.
Sesamo, on the corner of W52nd Street and 10th Avenue, had a structure attached to the building, enclosing both sides of the restaurant. Co-owner Sabrina Gao told us: “We were instructed by the Department of Transport to take down the outdoor structures. The one on 52nd Street was due to a ConEd construction project back in April. The wrap-around was deemed ‘illegal’ but we were given ample time to take it down.”
The work has revealed again the 80-foot mural created by Selwyn Senatori back in 2018. The Dutch artist created the artwork depicting a champagne celebration with a “Feed Me Love” bubble to celebrate the opening of Decimo Ristobar back in 2018. When the restaurant became Crispin’s just before the pandemic, the chef painted over some of the artwork but kept the majority of the mural. Then, when outdoor dining happened during the pandemic, the mural was mostly covered — except for those dining in the shed.
Sabrina told us: “We are delighted to give the mural back to the block. The enclosure was a necessary evil to help us through the winters of limited indoor seating. But it was unfortunate that the mural had to be hidden. Now we have the restaurant’s original exterior back, we look forward to a brighter future.”
W42ST spoke to Selwyn about having his art uncovered. “The ‘Feed me Love’ mural I made had resisted tough times. Now I think it’s time to retouch it and give it some extra layers of paint! It’s there to be seen, give joy and connect people through food and love,” said the Dutch artist.
Uncovering the mural is not the only change the team at Sesamo has been making. “We are now opening early Monday through Friday at 8am for breakfast. Also opening late on Friday and Saturday nights through 2am with an innovative bar menu including Wasabi Burger, fried dumplings, cheese and meat board and more,” said Sabrina. “”We will still place tables on the sidewalk in the front of and around the building but I’m not sure if we have the funds to rebuild a new structure on 52nd Street.”
What do you think? Is the outdoor dining structure coming down an improvement to that corner?