3 BRONX WEEKLY July 5, 2020 www.BXTimes.com
Arthur Avenue looks to Phase 3
The Bronx’s Little Italy gears up for outdoor dining during the weekends
BY ALEX MITCHELL
The Bronx’s Little Italy on Arthur
Avenue intends on moving
full speed ahead to close its street
for piazza style, outdoor dining on
weekend evenings per Phase 2 of
the city’s reopening.
Belmont Business Improvement
District treasurer, Frank Franz,
said that the street closure will
likely begin around Friday, July 10
as the Department of Transportation
has already granted forms of
temporary approval for the streetside
al fresco dining plan.
Franz, who fi rst told the Bronx
Times about the Bronx Little Italy’s
outdoor dining plan also noted
that while time is of course essential
for restaurants and businesses,
there wasn’t much sense in rushing
things before a holiday weekend
that’s best known for backyard
While that plan, which will make
diners feel more like their paisanos
in Tuscany, is still days away, the
iconic avenue is already set for an
expansive and unique outdoor culinary
experience that can’t be enjoyed
anywhere but the Bronx.
The famed Mike’s Deli, which
has been a cornerstone of the Arthur
Avenue Retail Market has already
created outdoor, curbside
seating while many other stands in
the market have done the same.
Owner Dave Greco, who took the
business over from his late father,
Mike said that COVID was the most
trying experience for his eatery since
he began working under his dad at
He stressed that the city’s upcoming
Phase 3, hopefully starting
in early July is crucial not just for
his business, but for the entire strip
of restaurants surrounding the
Greco added that Arthur Avenue
needs to see a return of its loyal,
out-of-town customer base that religiously
treks from Westchester,
Connecticut and Long Island to begin
making a fi erce comeback from
“They may not technically be
from the neighborhood but to us
they’re locals,” he said.
Another reason Greco sees
Phase 3 as a pivotal step is to not depend
on climate for good business
on any given day.
Though, on a hot day he has
diners at Mike’s Deli covered for a
meal that isn’t to be trifl ed with —
the “Bobby D” sandwich named for
Robert De Niro himself.
Greco serves such a behemoth
of a sandwich paired with prosciutto
wrapped cantaloupe that
comes garnished with mint, lemon,
and a balsamic glaze paired with,
of course imported Italian peach
Prosecco on tap.
That comes in addition remarkably
friendly, tableside service in
a shaded tent adjacent to the retail
More of the magnifi cent offerings
from Mike’s Deli can bee seen
Meanwhile, other restaurants
like Enzo’s are utilizing both backyard
space as well as in-street dining
for Phase 2.
As an upscale restaurant, Enzo’s
couldn’t thrive on a take-out
based model during COVID and
is quite eager to bring customers
back inside at a modifi ed capacity
per Phase 3 regulations.
Management expressed optimism
about being able to confi gure
a new, indoor dining set-up that
will be both functional and enjoyable
for the upcoming weeks as
Ajo y Oregano, a Dominican restaurant
adjacent to Arthur Avenue
is also making the best use of its
cute and quaint outdoor space too.
This upcoming weekend is going
to be a pivotal one for the success
of Belmont, many on Arthur
Avenue say — so if you’re looking
for some elegant outdoor dining
plans, seek no further.
Enzo’s back, outdoor dining patio on Arthur Avenue.
Mario’s of Arthur Avenue serving customers al fresco style.
A customer walks through the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, which is only
open for outdoor dining and takeout. Photos by Alex Mitchell
The “Bobby D” from Mike’s Deli.