“Restaurants will come back with indoor dining at 50% capacity and that's gonna be on top of the outdoor dining,” said Mayor De Blasio.
While the new normal at some places will include hand sanitizing and having your temperature checked before you even walk inside, reopening is still the moment many restaurant owners have been anxiously waiting for.
Sal Coppola, the owner of Coppola’s restaurant on the Upper West Side says he believes reopening will mean more desperately-needed business, even if the numbers aren’t what they were before the pandemic began.
“At this point, we’re trying to do the most possible space as we can use in this room right now, which is only 12 to 16 people. So at this point, it’s very difficult,” Coppola said.
Other establishments that will be allowed to open during Phase Three, including personal care services like nail and tanning salons, tattoo parlors and spas, will likely face similar challenges.
However, the city’s Small Business Services Commissioner, Jonnell Doris, is trying to ease the burden by providing personal protective equipment to businesses in need.
“We’ve already distributed 5 million of those face coverings and we will continue to do so by adding 2.5 million more face coverings to small businesses,” Doris said.
Meanwhile, the city’s Department of Transportation is launching an application process Monday to allow restaurants to expand their seating into open streets.
However, restaurant owners say that if officials do not loosen up indoor social distancing restrictions by the time cooler weather comes around, they could face yet another sharp decline in business.