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New York City restaurants and eateries struggling to remain afloat while trying to operate under varying degrees of state-imposed COVID restrictions are banning Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo from dining.
And, according to the Coney Island Blog, the ban is “effective immediately.”
“He can eat at some sh**ty roadside diner outside of Albany but he will not be served anywhere in New York City, known universally as the world’s greatest dining destination,” bar owner Larry Baird told the outlet. “If he has to use the restroom he can go pee on my street corner. That’s what he wants anyway.”
The blog noted further that many members of a Facebook group called “NYC Restaurants Open” have voiced their support for the dining ban against the governor, with one user remarking, “Completely schizophrenic behavior! How are they coming up with these rules is beyond any logical reasoning.”
Another lifelong New Yorker added: “He can dine at Gracie Mansion if he wants hospitality in Manhattan. He ain’t getting it here!”
Warning: Strong language
Noted another: “He should be banned from every restaurant, bar, etc he’s a scumbag f**k you coumo [sic] and [NYC Mayor Bill] di blasio [sic].”
The Coney Island Blog also quoted lifelong resident Val Torre, who said he’s had enough of the city and is headed to Florida.
“It’s 70 degrees every day. My Coney Island childhood friends have all retired to Florida now! All the restaurants and bars are open and the grannies live!” Torre said.
The backlash against Cuomo, as well as de Blasio, comes as restaurants, especially, continue to struggle — and permanently shutter — amid ongoing mandated closures and dining restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
In September, The New York Times reported that, according to a survey released by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, nine of 10 bars and restaurants were unable to pay their full rent.
Mehenni Zebentout, owner of Nomad, a North African and Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village, told the paper that after reopening to outdoor dining in June he has had trouble paying 70-80 percent of his rent. He has also been forced to cut his full-time employees from nine to four.
He added that his landlord still wants what he owes in back rent from earlier this year.
“We’re just hoping for some miracle,’’ he said. “I believe, according to my experience, two out of three restaurants will close by December, and I’ll be one of them if there’s no help from the city or the government.”
According to an audit released by city Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli in October, up to half of all restaurants in the Big Apple are likely to close within six months due to coronavirus-related shutdown mandates and dining restrictions, the New York Post reported.
The audit “lays bare the extent of the pandemic’s fiscal impact on one of the city’s lifeblood industries,” the Post continued, and was released as restaurants were permitted to reopen to indoor dining but only at 25-percent capacity.
“The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, and many eateries operate on tight margins,” DiNapoli said, the Post reported. “Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever.”
If his analysis pans out, then one-third to one-half of all bars and restaurants could close by spring next year at a loss of some 150,000 jobs.
The Post said that according to DiNapoli’s audit, in 2019 bars and eateries in the city accounted for about 317,800 jobs, paid $10.7 in wages, and accounted for taxable sales of $27 billion.
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