Why pay for a hotel room by the hour when you can get a dining shed for free!
Empty restaurant sheds – derided by critics as havens for the homeless, makeshift toilets and rat traps – are now providing a place for raunchy al fresco quickies.
One XXX-rated scene caught on video by a horrified Greenwich Village resident heading out to work on a recent morning shows a man and woman in a Cornelia Street dining hut getting down and dirty.
The woman is seen performing oral sex on her paramour, who is laying on top of a suitcase, his head propped up on the shed’s plywood wall. A tall, open beverage can sits next to him during the romp.
When the woman realizes she has been caught on camera, she stops what she’s doing, raises her head and says, “No!”
On the other side of the plywood barrier from the randy twosome, a man is passed out in a in a dining shed.
“I just couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘Oh my God!’ ”Said the resident who recorded the video and has also seen the homeless bedding down in the sheds or zonked out from drugs.
On Wednesday morning, he captured a couple smooching in a shed – the man wearing only shorts and sneakers with his chest bare – and perhaps getting ready to do more.
“I didn’t stay to find out,” the resident said.
The city’s Open Restaurant program, which allowed the dining sheds to proliferate at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to boost the struggling restaurant industry, is now being challenged in two lawsuits.
There are 12,556 restaurants in the program, which the city wants to make permanent. That effort is on hold while the city appeals an October 2021 suit.
The latest suit, filed last week, argues that the public health emergency measures that gave rise to the sheds have ended.
Jackson Heights resident Ricardo Pacheco, one of 35 plaintiffs in the action, is fed up, saying, “The quality of life here has gone down the drain.”
Pacheco, 57, a retired NYPD officer, said some of the sheds have turned into graffiti-covered dumpsites. He said he saw a couple getting it on in June in a shed on Roosevelt Avenue, an area known for prostitution.
“Whatever people are doing inside there, consenting adults or whatever, it shouldn’t be happening in our neighborhood,” he said.
Another plaintiff, Deborah Gonzalez of the Lower East Side, said in an affidavit that the sheds were exposing her to things she’d rather not see.
“These structures partially hide the men urinating, so when you walk by, you are shocked and caught off guard,” she said.
Some sheds are seemingly abandoned, like one on Second Avenue in the East Village that houses a dirty mattress and trash. Others are seen in photos provided to The Post surrounded by trash bags, including on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village and in the Bronx.
Lower East Side resident Marcell Rocha said in his lawsuit affidavit “The blocks are VOMIT AND URINE SWAMPS every morning.”
“The spaces between the sheds are now public bathrooms for anyone to urinate, vomit, do drugs, sleep and do whatever else they want inside,” Rocha said.
He told The Post he had seen a couple having sex in an Orchard Street shed last fall while walking by with friends who lived elsewhere and who found it amusing.
“I was sort of like ‘C’mon, I live here. It’s not a laughing matter ‘, ”said Rocha, 42, a fashion stylist.
Mayor Eric Adams said Monday he supported outdoor dining, but that the structures had to be standardized.