By Carol Tannenhauser
The mood seemed slightly lighter among local restaurant owners and employees, though several said the next two weeks will tell how they’ll do. Here are five long-standing places that could use our support. Lots more to follow.
Manhattan Diner, fresh and healthy (except for the bacon) American food, 2532 Broadway (95th Street), reopened on Wednesday, May 7th. “We initially closed out of fear for our families and friends and to help flatten the curve,” recalled owner John Tsiamtsiouris. “Now, we’re in a different place and have a much better understanding of the virus and how it spreads. We miss our customers of 30 years, locals, we miss their faces and conversation, we wonder if they’re okay.” Open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for pickup and delivery. (212) 932-0068
Freddie & Pepper’s, pizza, including whole-wheat & vegan options, 303 Amsterdam Avenue (74th), open as of Monday, May 4th. “We initially closed because we couldn’t find supplies, but restaurant suppliers are working again,” Sebastian, a manager, told us. “Things are running good, people are coming back. It will take a couple of weeks.” They are open for pickup and delivery, every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (212) 799-2378
The Muffins Shop Cafe, breakfast and lunch, baked goods, 222 Columbus Avenue (70th-71st), never closed. Namy, the counter person said, “At first I was scared to be here, but my employers provided us with all the PPE and hand sanitizer we needed. It does make me feel better when customers wear masks. We all wear masks.” PICKUP ONLY, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. M- F; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. (212) 875-1173.
V & T Pizzeria, thin crust, classic red sauce, comfort, 1024 Amsterdam Avenue (110th-111th) will fully reopen on Friday, May 8th. “We decided a month closed is enough!” said Anthony, whose family has owned the place since 1979. “We closed for precautionary reasons, but now we’ve reordered all our food and we’re ready to go. We expect to be very busy!” Open for pickup and delivery, seven days a week. (212) 663-1708.
El Mitote, classic, casual Mexican, 208 Columbus Avenue (69th), reopened on May 2nd. When we asked Eliceo, the manager why now, he said, “We were closed for 40 days,” as if that explained it. “We’re doing good!” Open Wednesday to Sunday, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for pickup and delivery. For now, they are only taking orders online: ElMitoteNY.com