#Possible delay to indoor dining tough for NYC owners to stomach

#Possible delay to indoor dining tough for NYC owners to stomach

June 29, 2020 | 4:13pm | Updated June 29, 2020 | 4:17pm

Some Big Apple eatery owners said Monday that delaying the reopening of indoor dining would be devastating to their already ailing bottom lines.

“Oh brother,” said Stephen Elkins, owner of the Forest Hills Station House, a bar in Forest Hills, Queens, to The Post — as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city may have to pull back on its plan to begin allowing indoor eating July 6 amid a terrifying coronavirus surge in other parts of the country.

“I had a feeling that might come,” Elkins said of the announcement.

“I could say that the outdoor dining has been very good for us, and it’s definitely a lifeline, but it’s not very good when it comes to the rain,” he said.

“I’m all for moving full steam ahead here in New York. We need to get back open,” the bar owner said.  “We can abide by the social-distancing rules to get back open, and that’s what we need to do.

“I understand the concerns across the country, but I feel like we’ve gotten through this, and if we can just continue what we’ve been doing, I don’t see why we should hold back.”

Nino Badalamenti, co-owner Giardini Pizza in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, lamented, “A delay would be bad for business.

“But I can understand the need to stop the spread,” he said. “We have to be careful with the virus. We have to protect other people. It’s going to hurt me, but you know what? It’s better to be careful.

“Of course, I’m hoping that the day should come soon that we can reopen indoor dining. Business hasn’t been great. We need people inside, because that’s how we make the money.”

Next week, the city is set to enter Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan amid the deadly contagion, which would allow for indoor dining at restaurants at 50 percent capacity — unless the state decides to take that option off the table for now. Right now, only outdoor dining is permitted.

The city is the last region in the state to enter Phase Three of reopening.

“New York is a hub. If other states have a high infection rate, the probability is they’re gonna end up [affecting] the spread and infection rate in New York,” Cuomo said at a press briefing Monday, in arguing for a potential delay in the reopening of indoor restaurant dining.


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