Indoor dining ends in New York City as winter storm approaches

Coronavirus update for NYC

ByDiana Rocco, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Monday, December 14, 2020
Indoor dining in NYC comes to end as winter storm approaches
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Joe Torres has the latest on the shutdown of New York City indoor dining.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Indoor dining has been suspended in New York City for at least two weeks due to COVID-19 restrictions amid increasing cases.

The demands on restaurants with a winter storm coming this week have some calling this an endless nightmare, saying it's impossible to survive.

Indoor dining ended at 10 p.m. Sunday, and restaurants are only allowed outdoor seating and takeout.

And with the added trouble of a pending storm, many restaurants are finding new ways of generating business. At Enzo's Restaurant on Arthur Avenue, they packed up lunch orders for a Bronx hospital Monday.

"By being pro-active and calling offices and hospitals, police departments, fire stations, and seeing if they were willing to get orders to go for lunchtime, dinnertime," manager Robert Aste said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged that with all the restrictions, the months of December and January will be tough for restaurants, their owners and their staff.

"I feel for the 100,000 or more New Yorkers working in the industry right now, and so many more are used to," he said. "We've got to bring this industry back. We've got to bring back the restaurants, but it's going to take time."

Warnings of another complete shutdown are increasing fears for some restaurant owners that their businesses might not survive. Rimi Cerriko opened up his Avenue Gyro restaurant three months ago, but on Monday at lunchtime, it was deserted.

"Usually I work in the kitchen,' he said. "I am a chef. I am a chef at this place here. But now, I am just doing the job of somebody else because he's at home now. We cannot pay him."

A Winter Operations Advisory is expected to be enacted if there is:

- Under an inch of accumulation

- Roadway dining can continue

But a snow alert, which may be possibly later this week, goes into effect if:

- There is over an inch of accumulation

- Roadway dining must close

- Entire structure must be broken down if over 12" forecast

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out about the approaching storm

Mayor de Blasio says so far, the forecast is on the bubble and does not yet know if outdoor dining structures will need to be taken down.

A new survey of 6,000 restaurants from New York State Restaurant Association says 50% of the state's restaurants will not survive the next six months without government help. Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo says a total shutdown may be possible in the next month.

ALSO READ | Legendary Midtown restaurant closes due to the pandemic


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