NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Limited indoor dining starts in New York City on Friday, but restaurant owners and local politicians say it’s just not enough to keep the hard hit industry afloat.
They want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to increase capacity and extend operating hours, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Thursday.READ MORE: Indoor Dining Increases To 35% Capacity In New Jersey
A silent piano sits on the stage at Swing 46, a Midtown supper club. It’s empty now, and will stay that way even though indoor dining has a green light.
The small, but normally boisterous restaurant will not be reopening because it won’t make enough from 25% capacity to make ends meet.
“We usually have a beautiful Valentine’s show. Lot’s of people coming and it’s a beautiful night,” said Swing 46 manager Michelle Collier. “The owner and I, we discussed it. We didn’t think that it would be the right thing to do.”
“It wouldn’t make enough money to cover the costs,” Collier said.
Collier is just one of many in the hospitality industry begging Gov. Cuomo to change his mind and expand capacity in New York City to 50%, like everywhere else in the state. They also want restaurants to be allowed to stay open until midnight, instead of the current 10 p.m. curfew.
“An entire industry is being wiped out,” said Collier. “We need at least a 50% capacity to be able to operate.”READ MORE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo Open To Possibly Moving Up Start Date For Indoor Dining In New York City
“We’re trying to hang in. We have bills to pay,” she said.
Elected officials and restaurant owners rallied in Brooklyn to demand the same thing: equity with the rest of the state.
“Our small businesses cannot survive on 25%,” said Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo. “It’s almost as if we are forcing them to shut their doors.”
“This is a small ask of the governor. To just increase the hours to midnight, which would mean a boost of revenue,” said Councilman Robert Cornegy.
“Twenty-five percent is just not enough. They’re not going to make the tips, they’re not going to make the money necessary to survive,” said Jeffrey Garcia from the Latino Restaurant Association.NYC’s Restaurant Week To Go Extended Through The End Of February
A spokesman for Gov. Cuomo said he is open to changing capacity depending on infection rates.