NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It was the first weekend the Big Apple opened up dining capacity to 75% and restaurants got a much needed boost thanks to Mother’s Day.

With almost 40% of New York state residents fully vaccinated, some restaurant owners say it was the busiest day since the coronavirus pandemic began, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.

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Debbie Sacramone spent the day seating other moms at her family’s restaurant, Sac’s Place in Astoria.

But she wasn’t complaining.

“Compared to last year, when we couldn’t have Mother’s Day anywhere, so it’s nice. It’s nice to see people out, happy. Everybody’s happy,” Sacramone said.

Plus, she got to spend the day with her two sons, who work with her and surprised her earlier.

“My sons and daughter bought her a computer for Mother’s Day and I gave her a big kiss,” co-owner Anthony Sacramone said.


Customer Janet Feldman of Long Hill, New Jersey enjoyed the little moments, after not being able to sit close to her kids last year.

“My God, I’m here with my kids and my husband. It’s wonderful … I’m going to say the best part might be the clams,” Feldman said.

At Tuscany Steakhouse, where business is down around 70% from a year ago, the owner still wanted to recognize the working mothers with a paid day off.

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Male waiters and staff hustled in their honor.

“It’s a Mother’s Day, but for us guys to work. But we have to give all the ladies off just so they could be off on their special day,” owner Steve Haxhij said.


And in Little Italy, the owner of Casa Bella, a mom, said the bustle of families is a bonus this Mother’s Day.

“I came to work because that’s important to me this year,” owner Adele Bello said.

And the hope this is the beginning as restaurants can open at full capacity next month.

“I see multiple generations coming in and even more important my regulars I haven’t seen in over a year have been in today and that was nice to see them,” Sac’s Place co-owner Domenico Sacramone said.

“It was great being able to be out again and be in the real world and this is it. This is what it’s about right here,” added Laurie Vilanova of Valley Cottage, New York.

“Just being here in New York with it coming back alive,” Upper West Side resident Maria Helmic said.

Alive, and hopefully it all gives birth to a year of safe memories with mom.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the number of COVID cases Sunday was the lowest it has been since October. The statewide seven-day average positivity rate is about 1.5%.