N.J. restaurateur rallies fellow owners to defy ‘POS de Blasio’: ‘You have 2 choices, fight or surrender’

A struggling New Jersey restaurant owner blasted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio over their continued coronavirus-mandated bans on indoor dining, calling the latter a “piece of s**t.”

In an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Saturday, Attilio Guarino, owner of Ava’s Kitchen and Bar in Kenilworth,” ripped the seemingly endless COVID-19 restrictions, saying that people should be able to make up their own minds whether they want to patronize businesses.

Co-host Will Cain asked Guarino how difficult it was to earn a profit or whether it was just about “the ability to stay open at this point.”

“Well, we are open at this point. But we are operating at a loss every week,” Guarino said.

Warning: Graphic language

“I want to keep my message short and sweet,” he continued. “We can’t continue to follow these executive orders. They must end.”

“And my message is out for New York right now. New York needs to open. Case closed. Don’t worry about what Cuomo says or piece of s**t de Blasio, they need to open right now.”

The restauranteur then said he and other owners have really been left with little choice.

“Most restaurants are in fear of losing their liquor license. Okay? What good is your liquor license if you are going to close for good in the next two months? Everyone needs to open and need to open right now,” he said.

“So they have two choices. You either fight or you surrender and that is it. We need to open. And then leave it up to the people. Let them decide whether or not they want to support small businesses,” said Guarino.

“Because we have been fighting right now for nine months straight. We are following every executive order and we are getting nowhere. So we have to do what we have to do and that is this, we need to open,” he added.

Restaurants and bars have among the hardest-hit businesses during the pandemic.

In New York City and the surrounding region, bars and restaurants — a major feature of the city — have been shut down off and on since mid-March.

“This is not a decision I make lightly,” de Blasio said at the time. “These places are part of the heart and soul of our city. They are part of what it means to be a New Yorker. But our city is facing an unprecedented threat, and we must respond with a wartime mentality.”

He added that “the crisis will last months and it will get worse before it gets better.”

But early on, Americans were only being asked to give state and local leaders about a month to “bend the curve” of the virus. Now, however, nearly a year later, small businesses are still dealing with mandatory closure orders or strict limits to the manner in which they can do business.

In the Big Apple, especially, restaurant and bar owners are struggling to remain afloat. In September, reports noted that nine in 10 NYC bars and restaurants were unable to pay their full amount of rent, according to a survey by the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

“We’re just hoping for some miracle,’’ Mehenni Zebentout, owner of Nomad, a North African and Mediterranean restaurant in Greenwich Village, told The New York Times. “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.”

Jon Dougherty

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