Restaurants across New York City call for return of indoor dining

Two months after indoor dining began to open in some parts of New York, some 25,000 restaurant owners in New York City are calling for guidance to allow them to bring back indoor dining.

“Restaurants throughout the rest of the state have met the same benchmarks that New York City restaurants have and they have been opening and operating indoors at a reduced occupancy for months now, and there is no reason that we have been presented why New York City restaurants are any different,” said Andrew Rigie of the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

Indoor dining was originally slated to return on July 6 as part of the city’s third phase of reopening but was postponed indefinitely due to a spike in coronavirus cases across the nation.

While outdoor dining has allowed restaurants to get back to business, for many it hasn’t been nearly enough. The New York City Hospitality Alliance surveyed nearly 500 bars and restaurants and 83 percent of respondents said they could not pay their rent last month.

Moreover, according to the latest figures from the state, nearly 60% of hospitality workers in New York are currently unemployed. 

Governor Cuomo has announced reopening plans for schools, museums, gyms, and even bowling alleys, but argues that New York City’s situation is different to its surrounding suburbs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says that one of the biggest concerns when it comes to indoor dining is the possibility of so-called “superspreaders” sickening dozens of others.

Meanwhile, the Hospitality Alliance says that it has not ruled out the possibility of filing a lawsuit. 

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