NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With New Jersey restaurants getting ready for indoor dining, many New York City restaurant owners want to know why they can’t do the same.

“It has been torture,” Seamus Keane, owner of Keane’s Bar and Restaurant, told CBS2’s Dick Brennan on Monday.

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Keane said his establishment on Katonah Aveune in the Bronx is struggling without indoor dining.

“I have maybe 20 seats outside on the sidewalk, and I’m lucky if I fill those 20 seats one day a week. It’s the worst scenario imaginable,” Keane said.


So if New Jersey can now have indoor dining, which will be the case on Friday, why the continued delay in New York?

“I want as much economic activity as quickly as possible,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

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Cuomo said he wants to watch two key factors before making a decision on indoor dining in the city — the impact of students going back to school and the fall flu season.

“We also want to make sure the transmission rate stays under control. That is the tension. I get it with restaurants. I get it with casinos. I get it. We are trying to find the balance, and we are calibrating every day,” Cuomo said.

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“I believe it has been really, really tough on folks who own restaurants, who put their life into those restaurants,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

However, de Blasio also indicated the city is not ready yet to return to indoor dining.

“Is there a way where we can do something safely with indoor dining? So far, we haven’t had that moment. Honestly, we have really gone straight forward about it. We have not had the opportunity to do it safely.

“It would take a huge step forward to get to that point. That’s the truth,” he added.

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Keane said time is running out for so many businesses, and he would like at the very least a plan for the future.

“We would just like a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, we are just walking around aimlessly in a cave with nowhere to go,” Keane said.

The mayor said he will have more to say about indoor dining soon, but did not seem hopeful about anything changing.

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