How a Michelin Star restaurant is reopening its New York dining room


When Odo by Odo re-opened its dining room for the first time in more than six months on Wednesday evening, the 14-seat chef’s counter that helped create its intimate atmosphere will be empty.

Instead, the eight diners will sit in a private dining room after checking their temperature to enjoy a prix fixe dinner prepared by chef Hiroki Odo.

The Japanese fine dining restaurant, which earned its first Michelin star last year, is one of several restaurants in New York City that are adopting their dining room to reopen to customers during the coronovirus epidemic. After the city became the epicenter of the epidemic, government officials were more cautious in reopening their economy, fearing the return of crowded hospitals and nonstop ambulance sirens. Facing a $ 2 billion lawsuit from hundreds of restaurant owners, Gov. Andrew Como announced three weeks ago that indoor dining could return to five boroughs at 25% capacity on the last day of the month.

The decision is intended to help stem the losses of the city’s restaurant industry, which has arisen from the crisis. In August, 87% of restaurant owners could not pay their full rent, according to a survey by the New York Hospitality Alliance.

But the 25% capacity limit means restaurant owners have to do with fewer customers and higher costs, such as masks for employees and more frequent cleaning. Odo co-owner Satoru Yasumatsu said that Speaksi-style restaurants will keep their outdoor food open for now, until the capacity limit is increased.

Other New York restaurants such as Porter House Bar and Grill in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center are shutting down the reopening of their dining room, until the capacity limit is only half past the pre-pandemic limit.

Restaurant owners may not have to wait for a few more weeks to unlock higher capacity limits. Cuomo has stated that the sanctions will be re-enforced from 1 November and that the sanctions can be relaxed, as long as the infection rate is not increasing.

But local health officials have been raising alarm in recent days over the increasing cases in the city. Outbreaks in the Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods have pushed the city’s positive test rate to its highest level since June. A recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has linked restaurant food to increased risk of contracting Kovid-19, although the National Restaurant Association has termed the study’s methodology flawed, and said that an industry has no evidence of virus Reducing the spread is irresponsible.

As Odo tests water to eat indoors for New Yorkers’ hunger, its private dining room will be open only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays evenings, with only two reservation times: 5:45 pm and 8 pm : 30 o’clock

“Our restaurant is small,” Yasumatsu said. “Even using a private room, we can accommodate a maximum of eight people, depending on the size of the parties. It’s not enough for us to survive.”

Although its seating changes could hamper the dining experience at Odo, Yasumatsu said the restaurant plans to place bets on its meals for the private dining room.

“That’s the only option we’re thinking about at the moment,” he said. “And hopefully the city allows bar seating, even at 25% capacity.”

Yasumatsu hopes that indoor dining will bring back high-paying customers. Current sales are down about 50% compared to the previous year. Before the epidemic pushed Odo to offer delivery for the first time and move the tables out, the restaurant was forced to spend $ 200 on a prix fixe multi-course meal known as Kaseki Could trust the customer.

But Odo’s mastery during the crisis also extended to its menu. Instead of offering a traditional multi-course dinner, its external offerings are a la carte and come at a lower price than kaiseki. According to Yasumatsu, however, the outdoor food has brought customers to the restaurant for the first time.

On Friday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio extended the outdoor dining to the restaurant and expanded year-round. Earlier, the option was set to expire at the end of October. As temperatures in the New York drop, Yasumatsu joins other restaurant owners in his restaurant, looking for ways to expand from tents to heaters.

Still, Odo is not placing bets solely on customers wanting to eat in or out of their restaurants. It is launching a gathering of sushi and whiskey in a larger location, several blocks south of its Flatiron location. Yasumatsu said the restaurant is also working on citywide sushi delivery, aimed at a wider range of audiences than its usual price, and to nationwideize its high-level delivery through a potential partnership with GoldBelly.

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