The law, an expansion of similar regulations that applied to only large-chain restaurants and retail stores, is seen by City Hall as a way to save energy and aid the environment.
“It’s the middle of the summer in New York City, it’s 90 degrees, you walk by a store, and the door is wide open and the air conditioning is blasting,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a City Hall ceremony Wednesday, the NYT reports. “That’s wasting a lot of energy. That’s having its own impact on global warming.”
Restaurant owners who fail to meet the new regulations would incur fines anywhere from $250 to $1,000, depending on the degree of their violation and whether they have previous strikes against them.
Exceptions are afforded to restaurants offering al fresco dining, as well as sidewalk cafes and “counter-type stores,” the NYT says.
New York City restaurants were recently spared from a law seen as particularly cumbersome on the industry, following last month’s reversal of the citywide ban on polystyrene containers and servingware.