NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Tuesday marks the one year anniversary COVID restrictions shut down New York restaurants to in-person dining.
For many businesses, the impact has been devastating.
But as CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reports, some owners say they have hope for a full recovery.
“It was scary. There was no one around, like a scene out of a movie,” said owner Shane Hathaway.
In the months that followed, outdoor dining returned, followed eventually by indoor.
Hathaway calls the last year a rollercoaster.
“If we weren’t able to receive any kind of funding or help from our generous landlord, we couldn’t have survived,” Hathaway said.
Many restaurants weren’t as lucky. The Hourglass Tavern and Bettibar closed its doors for good in September. Owner Beth Sheinis calls losing her business of 11 years devastating.
“We came in on a pandemic and went out on a recession,” Sheinis said. “They were very small spaces, so for us the logistics were impossible to do it on a minimized way.”
The New York City Hospitality Alliance says there are about 25,000 bars and restaurants in New York City alone. Recent estimates have found about 5,000 of those have closed in the past year.
The group says more government funding and a rapid but safe vaccine rollout is key to ensure more restaurants do not follow suit.
“We have a lot of businesses teetering on survival, so it’s not too late to correct any wrongs and support our local small businesses,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director with the New York City Hospitality Alliance.
The Alliance says the one silver lining is that restaurants across the state can boost indoor dining capacity on Friday. Junior’s Restaurant agrees. The family owned business shut three of its four locations last March. They’re now hoping to reopen by summer.
“We see New York coming back and in a big way,” said Miles Ellis of Junior’s. “We’re really on looking forward and moving forward.”
Many of these businesses say, in a year filled with challenges, there is now light at the end of the tunnel.
A YEAR IN THE PANDEMIC: REMEMBRANCE & RESILIENCE
- A Look Back On What’s Been Lost And How Tri-State Has Persevered
- Timeline Of Virus’ Swift Impact Across The Globe
- Long Island Nurse Who Documented Painful Journey Warns Fight Is Not Over
- Essential Workers Risk Their Own Safety To Keep Supplies And Services Running
- Area School Districts Continue To Make Best Of Tough Situation, Always With Eyes On The Future
- Daughter Looks To Carry On Father’s Legacy At Arthur Avenue Restaurant
- Unemployment Forced Many In Our Area To Reinvent Themselves, And Gain Perspective Along The Way
- Food Insecurity Grows Throughout Tri-State Communities, ‘The Face Of Hunger Has Changed’
- The Sports World Stopped, But Hope And Progress Are Beginning To Win The Days
- ‘Long Haulers’ Still On Long Road To Recovery, ‘A Complete Lifestyle Change’
- Vaccines Offer Shot Of Hope, Despite Ongoing Distribution Struggles