NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s no end in sight for the ban on indoor dining in New York City.
As the city and state wrangle over who might oversee a possible reopening, restaurant owners hope the negotiating table leads to food back on the dining room table.
The big booths remain empty at the Mansion restaurant on the Upper East Side as staffers work to fill orders in what would typically be a bustling dining room.
While customers can eat outside, it’s anyone’s guess when they’ll be allowed to eat inside.
“Extremely frustrating,” restaurant owner John Philips said. “Restaurants seem to be left on the line to die.”
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Philips doesn’t understand why indoor dining is not allowed in the five boroughs, but it is allowed in the rest of the state.
Not to mention other businesses have gotten the green light.
“Gyms being open? I don’t know how much sense that makes to me,” Philips told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes.
He’s far from alone.
Thursday, fellow restaurant owners and politicians rallied in Queens, begging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to allow indoor dining in New York City.
Cuomo says he wants to give it the go-ahead, like City Council Speaker Corey Johnson called for earlier this week, but the governor is concerned about restaurant compliance indoors, saying New York City has not done a good job monitoring bars.
“If New York City can say this many police, NYPD, can be put on a task force to monitor the compliance, that’s something that we can discuss,” Cuomo said.
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The governor Thursday called on Speaker Johnson, not Mayor Bill de Blasio, to potentially have 4,000 NYPD officers monitor indoor dining, even though Johnson does not control the NYPD, the mayor does.
De Blasio was asked if he’s being sidelined.
“The city and the state are in constant dialogue,” the mayor said. “The sheriff’s office has done an amazing job, absolutely outstanding job with restaurant enforcement, with quarantine enforcement. The NYPD has a lot on its hands.”
In the midst of all of this, restaurants like the Mansion still have no indoor timeline as they think about shelling out more money to make their outdoor space conducive to colder weather.
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