New York City, NY

NYC September 2021 Reopening: Broadway, Oyster Bar, Cruise Ships, Village Vanguard, and Public Schools

Melissa Toldy

New York City - By September 13, the new Key to NYC program will be enforced. Many indoor spaces, such as restaurants, bars, museums, and gyms, will require vaccination proof for patrons and employees.

Only vaccinated New Yorkers and tourists will be allowed to participate in some of the most quintessential New York experiences, such as attending a Broadway show or eating dinner at an iconic NYC restaurant.

Here are some of the most anticipated indoor spaces reopening in September 2021:


Last night, the Empire State Building was lit up red as part of the "This is Broadway" campaign, highlighting the theater district’s official return in September. Although one Broadway show made its debut earlier this month (Pass Over at the August Wilson Theater), the new play is a special production, running for only 9 weeks. Some of the most popular Broadway shows, such as The Lion King, Hamilton, Wicked, and Chicago, are scheduled to return September 14.

Grand Central Oyster Bar

Even though the Key to NYC program will not be enforced until mid-September, many places are already requiring proof of vaccination. Grand Central Oyster Bar will reopen September 7, and they will be checking for vaccine cards, plus IDs at the door. Situated underground, the restaurant hasn’t been able to participate in the outdoor dining program. Although indoor dining has been allowed in some capacity since last year, the lack of foot traffic in the typically busy Grand Central terminal has kept them shuttered longer than other places.

Village Vanguard

The jazz club Village Vanguard will reopen on September 14. This will be their first time presenting in-person performances since March 2020. Tickets can only be purchased online, and all attendees must be at least 18 years of age. Ron Miles will be on trumpet, leading a quintet on opening night.

Cruise Ships

Two cruise lines, Norwegian and Crystal, are reportedly returning to Piers 88 and 90 at the EDC’s Manhattan Cruise Terminal by late September. At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, cruise ships were notorious for widespread infection. This time around, CDC guidelines will be followed, including protocols for “masking, social distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, increased air filtration, and hand sanitizer stations.”

Public Schools

Of course, the biggest reopening in September will be the school system. September 13 marks the first day for the fall semester. All 1,800 public schools will be open for full-time, in-person instruction, five days a week, according to the latest messaging.

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