NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some executive orders that have been in place since the peak of the coronavirus pandemic are being repealed by the state. That includes the midnight dining curfews.
One of the most recent changes is restaurants no longer have to serve food with drinks, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Wednesday.
If you dined out at all during the pandemic, you know that with that glass of wine you had to order a snack to go along with it. Now, you can get an alcoholic drink without nachos on the side.
Bar and restaurant owners CBS2 spoke to said getting the drinks flowing gets their business going.
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“Now I can go to happy hour and not have to worry about ordering a hot dog. I can have my two-for-one drinks. It’s great for me. They made it for me, this new rule,” said Kevin Clark of Hell’s Kitchen.
Clark isn’t the only one feeling good that he no longer has to order food with alcoholic drinks.
Ivan Garcia was getting his restaurant Bareburger on 46th Street ready for the day, feeling good that he will no longer have to say no to drinks without food.
“Guests come in, they just want drinks at times and, unfortunately, we can’t do that. Sometimes we have to turn them away because that’s really all they want. So, with that now it’s going to be super helpful for business,” Garcia said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced Wednesday that patrons can once again sit at the bar starting May 3 and that the midnight curfew will be lifted for outdoor dining on May 17 and for indoor dining May 31.
“Twelve o’clock hits, and, you know, people still want to be out,” Garcia said.
“We need you to urge patients to get the shot. We need you to reach out to your patients personally, if they have not yet been vaccinated. We know a lot of this is about convenience. The simpler it becomes, the more New Yorkers will get vaccinated,” de Blasio said.
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The Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines Tuesday saying vaccinated people don’t have to wear masks at outdoor gatherings or restaurants, and that people, vaccinated or not, no longer need to wear masks outside when they’re walking alone.
New Yorkers are still getting used to the idea.
“I was thinking about it yesterday, wondering what it would be like to walk out without one, and how strange that would be because it feels like it has been comfortable, like a little bit of a comfort blanket in the last year,” said Mary Claire Barnes of Hell’s Kitchen.
“I was wearing it right now because I was in the elevator in the apartment building. Otherwise, this was my first walk, stroll this morning without a mask. It feels good. I think it brings a sense of optimism,” resident Phillipe Coste added.
CDC guidelines still say everyone should mask up in crowded outdoor spaces, but, as many pointed out, much of New York City is crowded. So, if you’re not vaccinated and can’t insure you won’t come near passersby, the best advice is to still wear a mask.