Restaurants were expected to open for in-person dining on July 6, this coming Monday. But Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo said on Wednesday that indoor dining will be delayed, because it’s proven to be too dangerous in other parts of the country.
“Honestly, even a week ago, honestly, I was hopeful we could,” de Blasio said, according to the Associated Press. “But the news we have gotten from around the country gets worse and worse all the time.”
“Outdoor dining unquestionably has been a great hit,” he added. “And I think the bottom line is that outdoors is working, period. This is one of the things we’ve learned. Outdoors is where we need to be to the maximum extent possible this summer as we fight back this disease.”
Restaurants are clearly hurting. The NYC Hospitality Alliance said on Wednesday that most restaurants have not been keeping up with rent.
“Four of five survey respondents reported that they did not pay full rent in June, and 36 percent of respondents said they paid no rent at all. Of the portion of respondents who paid some of their rent, 90 percent paid half or less.
Nearly three quarters of landlords (73%), who are under their own set of unique challenges, did not waive rent payments for restaurants, bars and clubs in June. 60 percent of landlords refused rent deferments during the same time period. Only 10 percent of restaurants, bars and clubs were able to renegotiate their leases.”
The alliance released a statement about the delay in reopening:
“Restaurants and bars have been making enormous financial sacrifices for four months, and their survival now depends on compensation reflective of those losses. We respect the government and public health officials’ decision to postpone the anticipated July 6th reopening of indoor dining, but the longer neighborhood restaurants and bars are forced to be closed, the harder it will be for them to ever successfully reopen. This makes it even more urgent to forgive rent, expand outdoor dining and enact other responsive policies to save our city’s beloved small businesses and jobs.” -Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance