New York City restaurants will be able to open for dining indoors at 25% capacity again starting September 30th, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. The city’s restaurants are among the last in the nation to reopen for indoor dining. All customers must have their temperature taken at the door, and if contact tracing information is needed, at least one member of each party will be asked to provide it. “This may not look like the indoor dining that we all know and love, but it is progress for restaurant workers and all New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. Customers will not be allowed to sit at bars, owners face harsher filtration and ventilation restrictions, tables will be distanced six feet apart, and customers must wear masks when leaving the table. “Restaurants are essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and indoor dining is a key component to the industry’s recovery,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. Nearly 1,000 of NYC’s 50,000+ restaurants have closed during the pandemic, so the reopening is welcome news. However, for many restaurants, opening at 25% capacity is neither profitable nor sustainable. “I doubt I’m going to open at 25%,” said Amanda Cohen, chef-owner at Dirt Candy. “Without more federal or state aid, maybe I can last for a month.” Governor Cuomo hinted that if infection rates hold steady, restaurants may be able to open at 50% capacity on November 1. But many restaurateurs say that what’s really needed is more government aid. Get the full story here at Associated Press. And here at Food & Wine.
Photo Source: Patrick Tomassso