NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There is new hope for beleaguered New York City restaurants. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he’ll have a plan in place by the end of the week to let them resume limited indoor dining.

It may have been cold and overcast on Wednesday on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, but restaurant owners there — and all over the city — said they feel the sun came out and they were touched by a ray of sunshine, thanks to the news that the governor has plans to finally let them re-open indoor dining, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

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“I fully understand how difficult that it is that they are closed, not just for the restaurants, but all the people who are employed there,” Cuomo said.

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With COVID-19 spiking, Cuomo closed restaurants to indoor dining on Dec. 14, preventing the struggling businesses from cashing in on the lucrative Christmas and New Year’s seasons.

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Kramer asked the governor if he anticipated allowing restaurants to welcome indoor diners at 50% capacity like in Westchester County and other suburban areas.

“We’ll have an announcement by the end of the week, but we’re looking at going back to 25%,” Cuomo said.

Regina Migliucci-Delfino, the owner of Mario’s restaurant in the Bronx, said she would have preferred to match the suburbs, but she’s fine with the plan.

“I’ll take 25%. We have Valentine’s Day coming. We want to open up back inside. We gotta show some love,” Migliucci-Delfino said. “It’s a gift to the restaurants to lovers to everybody.”

The governor’s news came as leaders of the New York State Latino Restaurant Bar and Lounge Association filed suit against Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to push the reopening, because 50% of restaurant workers are Latinos.

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“We deserve the same rights as the restaurants in Long Island and Westchester. Obviously, New Jersey is another state, but the fact that you can go across the bridge from Upper Manhattan right into New Jersey and enjoy indoor dining is a travesty,” Bar and Lounge Association president Jeffrey Garcia said.


Patrons were pleased with the news.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea because we are a little cold out here,” Bronx resident Kathy Dwyer said.

“It’s s great that he’s making this announcement. It is long overdue,” added Joey Connaughton of Riverdale.

“It’s better than what it is now,” said Carmen Gil of West New York, New Jersey.

Cuomo said restaurants all over the state will still have to adhere to a 10 p.m. curfew.

Cuomo also eased some coronavirus restrictions Wednesday, eliminating the state’s orange zones.

“Every curve statewide is down. That’s good news,” he said. “We will then adjust the valves to those facts.”

Four yellow zones will remain, in the Bronx, Washington Heights, Queens and Newburgh.

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Marcia Kramer