Fury as Cuomo reopens bowling alleys, allows food in them as gyms, bars other indoor dining still closed

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has provoked anger by reopening bowling alleys, as well as museums and aquariums, but keeping gyms, indoor bars and indoor dining shuttered.

During a coronavirus briefing Friday, the governor said that not only may bowling alleys reopen, but they may serve food and alcohol just like an indoor-dining restaurant or indoor-serving bar, both of which still remain closed.

New York has been under a stay-at-home order since March 20th. Cuomo eventually reopened bars and restaurants in June but limited them to outdoor dining.

“Bowling alleys will be allowed to open on Monday. Fifty percent occupancy. You must have a face covering. Every other lane closed. The parties stay with their party at the lane that they’re bowling. The establishment has to have cleaning and disinfecting protocols in place, especially on the shared and the rented equipment,” the governor told reporters Friday.

Food service, alcohol service only by wait service at the party’s location. So you’re at a lane. You’re bowling. You can order food. You can order alcohol. They come to you. You don’t go to a bar. You don’t go to a food concession. They come to you. That’s bowling alleys. They open on Monday.”

Listen:

He added that “low-risk indoor cultural activities” such as “museums, aquariums” may reopen as well. No potential reopening was offered for indoor dining, though the governor did promise to “put out protocols on Monday for gymnasiums to open.”

His classic inconsistency annoyed locals, particularly given how many bars and restaurants have been forced to shutter permanently because of his decrees.

“While New York City currently has the current crisis under control—at least for the time being—restaurants and bars are still facing an uphill battle,” Time Out magazine reported Thursday.

“Indoor dining is still prohibited, bars must sell food with their drink orders and business owners are juggling health risks with their bottom line. The coming months are still unpredictable but one thing is for sure: some of the city’s most notable restaurants and bars won’t be back.”

The magazine then listed 20 “notable NYC restaurants and bars that have now permanently closed,” including but not limited to Uncle Boons, the TAK Room, Porsena, An Choi, and Gotham Bar & Grill, the latter of which was 36 years old.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Want to help our staff? After 36 years we made the difficult decision to close our restaurant due to the loss of business surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the closing we were forced to lay off our entire staff, many of whom have worked with us for 20 plus years. The timing of this and the ensuing closure of all of New Yorks’ restaurants present our former employees with a very difficult situation for themselves and their families. Many people have inquired about our staff and what can be done for them and so I am setting up this site where 100% of proceeds after GoFundme fees will be distributed to the Gotham employees. Any help is greatly appreciated. After the dust settles I look forward to continuing my work in food, wine, hospitality and sustainability. ​ ​✨Please click the link in our profile to be directed to the Go Fund Me site, where donations for our staff can be made.✨ ​Thank you, Bret Csencsitz

A post shared by Gotham Bar and Grill (@gothamnewyork) on

The question that appears to be on many people’s minds is this: What exactly is the difference between eating some grub inside a bowling alley and eating it inside a restaurant or bar? There just seems to be no logic to it.

Look at the backlash below that erupted after the governor shared his announcement on Twitter (*Language warning):

As to the latter Twitter user’s confidence that surely Cuomo must be “smarter than that,” the evidence doesn’t necessarily back that contention. After all, the governor is responsible for the worst coronavirus nursing home scandal in the country.

Cuomo’s announcement Friday reportedly came just hours after word emerged that New York City’s annual “Tribute in Light” ceremony in honor of Sept. 11 terror attack victims has been canceled for the first time since its inception 18 years ago.

“The world’s beloved twin beams of light regrettably will not shine over lower Manhattan as part of this year’s tributes to commemorate 9/11,” 9/11 Memorial and Museum spokesman Michael Frazier reportedly said in a statement.

“This incredibly difficult decision was reached in consultation with our partners after concluding the health risks during the pandemic were far too great for the large crew required to produce the annual Tribute in Light.”

But no worries, because New Yorkers can instead spend their upcoming Sept. 11 going to a bowling alley, putting on shoes worn by countless other patrons and then grabbing a bowling bowl that’s had God knows how many fingers run through it.

Inconsistency on Aisle Cuomo anyone?

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Vivek Saxena

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