NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some people appear to be opting for a quiet night at home instead of going out amid the coronavirus outbreak, and the impact is being felt at local businesses.
At K Rico South American Steakhouse on Ninth Avenue, the generous cuts make it a favorite for tourists and theatergoers alike.
Owner Tommy Greco says on a normal Friday, the restaurant would be full.
“There wouldn’t be a seat. We’d have people waiting at the bar,” he said.
But on this Friday, “with this virus thing, plus with a little bit of the rainy weather, tonight we’re off about 40, 50%,” Greco says.
Greco fears concerns over the coronavirus is why his restaurant is practically empty.
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People are still eating out, however. Just ask delivery drivers.
“I’m getting a lot of work today, actually. Yeah, it’s really, really busy today,” delivery driver Juan Garcia said. “As far as the coronavirus, our job has some notifications they’ve given us to take care of the situation. Like, wash your hands, stuff like that.”
Delivery app Postmates is launching new drop-off options that allow customers to meet the driver curbside or opt not to have contact at all.
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Meanwhile, extra precautions are being taken on Broadway as theaters have disinfected public spaces and added hand-sanitizing stations for patrons, according to the Broadway League.
Tourist Pete Skala believes this is his best chance to see “Hamilton.” He was in line hoping to get a cancellation ticket.
“I’m hoping that between the weather and the coronavirus, my odds might go up,” he said.
As they say, the show must go on as businesses weather this unlikely storm.
“I just wish people weren’t so scared. But our restaurant is, we’re open, ready for business,” Greco said.
That’s the message at all restaurants, especially in Chinatown, which has taken the hardest hit. Other businesses are dealing with events being cancelled. But the New York City Hospitality Alliance says it’s still too soon to know the widespread impact.