With Plexiglas partitions, UV lights and better ventilation, New York City restaurants are opening indoor meals to 25% of their pre-Kovid-19 capacity on Wednesday.
Whether diners will come to see, but six months after the city was put into lockdown, the restaurant industry is back on the wall.
After retreating from a disastrous bout with Coronavirus, New York allowed the restaurant to serve customers outside in June. But winter is coming and the movement of workers and tourists is still rare. Many townspeople are still reluctant to return to pre-pandemic restaurant dining habits, and some owners say that allowing a quarter of normal capacity to remain open indoors may not be enough to secure in the future .
“Anything to stay alive is useful to us, but 25% does nothing for us”, said Mike Giammarino, Lombardi’s manager and president, who was founded in New York’s Little Italy and is America’s oldest Claims to be a pizzeria.
“It is not going to close the restaurant. Once the weather changes and a little spark that comes with outdoor dining fonds and there are not many people to visit, you will see a lot of restaurants failing. “
Giammarino said that between rents and taxes, the cost of doing business in the city was already so high, that it can also be difficult to make up the numbers with 100% occupancy.
“I honestly don’t know if we will survive.” There is no lunch trade because the offices are still closed, and everywhere you see trucks are running for people leaving the city. “
Such skeptical assessments helped city and state politicians speed through plans to reopen indoor dining, the restaurant enhanced air-filtration systems, temperature checks for customers, in addition to tables, Masks worn at all times and a midnight curfew.
But planning comes with risks. The positive Kovid-19 test rate in the city rose to 1.93% on Monday. The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, said he would be “nervous” in reaching a 2% positivity rate, while a 3% positivity rate would cause alarm.
On Tuesday, he said that for now, New York City was “on the point of not returning anything”.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has also said that if the rate of positive cases goes above 2%, he would consider saving indoor dining permissions. At a press conference on Tuesday, he said that if positive test rates go above 3%, they could reevaluate the decision to open.
As politicians and health experts weigh the risks in reopening the owners of indoor dining restaurants, they are also at the mercy of customers, who are also weighing their enthusiasm to stay indoors with strangers.
Adjacent to Lombardy’s Cafe Fiat, Jimmy Wright said he was disputed. “I am completely uncomfortable with people being in an enclosed space with no masks. At 76, Wright said he would make a decision later. “I’m going to eat outside until I freeze.”
His partner, Michael DiClement, said he would just make sure the restaurants were doing what they were about to do. “And make sure customers are not all burnt and behaving irresponsibly,” Wright said.
Elsewhere, in Chinatown, an area full of restaurants that quickly lost business due to xenophobia, as soon as the first reports of mysterious contagion aired in Wuhan, Noam Wah Tea Parlor, found in tables outside the lunchtime dinner at Pop Dim Zodiac Joint can go. On Dyers Street.
“Looking at a choice I would still sit outside,” said Nathalie Allen. “I hope it returns to normal, but at the same time we are jumping ship.” His partner, Jackson Hardaker, said they were going to Beacon, New York. “We have a young son so we want to be extra careful.”
At Il Bucho on Great Jones Street, hairstylist Brydon Nelson said that it is not yet right to dine inside. “It’s a little weird. But it depends on the space. ”Stylist Katelyn Gray said she would try to support smaller restaurants in her Brooklyn neighborhood. “If you know them, I will put my trust in them.”
But others said they would be fine with food inside the house. “I like the outdoors, but it all depends. If it is suitable to sit inside, then I will sit inside, ”said a eater who gave his name as Zen. Her dining partner, Elizabeth, said she would first check for spacing and ventilation. “But I would still like to sit outside.”
Mixed signs come to suit businesses across the city. By the end of September, just 15% of the city’s 1.2 million office workers had returned, according to the partnership for New York City.
A survey by the State Restaurant Association found that nearly two-thirds of members say that without relief, they would probably have to close by the end of the year.
The closure is likely as companies burn through federal and private loans, landlords step in to evict non-paying tenants, and veil from outside food and shopping in the winter. In total, about 6,000 New York City businesses remained closed from March 1 to September 11, according to Yelp. According to the Partnership for New York City study, the epidemic could permanently close as a third of New York’s 230,000 businesses.
Nevertheless, they were having a meal on Tuesday afternoon, saying they were grateful to do so. Megan Michaels said the situation was difficult even when she worked as a server in a restaurant in Pennsylvania, where 25% capacity regulations were already in place.
“It works, but it sucks because we’re losing money. I won’t be able to live here at 25%. I want it to be normal but I think that’s how it is, masks and all, it’s a vaccine.” Is going to happen with or without it. “