Fewer NYC businesses staying open 24 hours

The City That Never Sleeps might need a new nickname.  From nightlife to restaurants, some New York City businesses are shutting their doors earlier in the evening.

Since the start of the pandemic, many businesses have cut back hours, including staying open 24/7.

Residents FOX 5 News spoke with say they noticed that it started with pharmacies.  One noted that they used to be open at all hours.  Now many close by 10 p.m. or midnight.

Add eateries to the list.  L’Express French Bistro on Park Ave. South had been operating 24 hours a day for the 25 years since it opened.  It now closes at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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Manager Hugo Rodriguez cited crime.

"The main reason is because we are a little bit concerned about the safety of employees going back home," Rodriguez said.

Wo-Hop restaurant in Chinatown has the same safety concerns for its employees and now closes at 10 p.m. instead of 4:30 a.m.

Kathryn Wylde is with Partnership for New York City.  It is a nonprofit that works to improve business.  She says security is a widespread issue for workers.

"We’ve seen difficulties getting employees and customers to come to work 24/7," Wylde says.  "People are more nervous about security conditions overnight."

Crime isn't the only reason some businesses are closing early.

Veselka, a well-known Ukrainian restaurant in the East Village, is no longer open around the clock.  Management says many workers lost their jobs during shutdowns at the start of the pandemic and never came back.    

"It’s very difficult for us to even find dedicated, qualified staff," Veselka manager Gary Koenigsberg says.